Flowers, flames and burgers

Published 10:22 am Thursday, January 19, 2012

AHS sophomore Kristine Snyder, left, and Gabby Wagner examine and vote on the finest 3-D photography Austin students produced in the fall. -- Trey Mewes/

Inspiration abounds at annual AHS art show

There’s inspiration to be found inside Knowlton Auditorium this week.

The annual Austin High School Art Show is on display, with incredible sculptures, and meticulous prints and drawings from AHS’s first semester art classes.

“It’s better than last year’s,” said Alayna Woodworth, AHS senior.

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Woodworth has one piece on display, a pencil piece with flowers surrounding a voluptuous woman’s face. To Woodworth, flowers and women in art are often equated with beauty, an artistic theme she enjoys.

It’s this interest in art that has made the annual art show an institution at AHS, according to art teacher Barry Brobeck.

“If we were to not have it, something would be wrong,” he said.

More students are participating this year, and more of the art is pencil works. George Gonzalez has his share of pencil pieces, from a drawing of the In-N-Out Burger he misses from his days in California to a rendition of a Mexican skull against flames and a brightly lit flower. The AHS senior may have plans to go into engineering, but he has at least 12 pieces in the art show this year.

“It’s awesome,” Gonzalez said.

Much of Gonzalez’s work centers around inanimate objects and shapes, from the anime-robot portrait he drew to the intricate star he molded out of clay. Gonzalez got the idea for the star based on one of the doodles he drew in his notebook.

“I like abstract better,” he said. “I have trouble drawing eyes and everything else.”

Yet shapes can turn into great art. In Shayla Retterath’s case, it was a shamrock that grew into an Art Show-worthy sculpture. The AHS freshman created a brightly-colored shamrock through an art class where students had to complete a glazed clay sculpture containing a clear-cut hole.

“I had a couple of different ideas,” she said. “It was either this or lips.”

With art and stories like these, Brobeck believes the quality pieces at the annual show rivals any area art gallery.

“There’s a lot to see in this place,” he said.

There’s plenty to see for area residents, as the art show is open to the public. Local residents can marvel at some of the intricate dreamcatchers, the complex painted pieces and even larger-than-normal 3-D photography.

“We never had anything like that when I went to school here,” said Bonnie Brady, who visited the show Wednesday.

The Art Show continues through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. as students and the public vote on which pieces are award-worthy. Students will know whether they won awards by the end of the week. The event is free and open to the public.