Monday, September 24, 2012

To The Edge

Part of Sound Off's mission is to dig a little deeper, to peel off the layers off what it means to be a teenager in these small Midcoast towns.  Often when given a school project, teens will deliver a form of self-expression that is quite accepted and acceptable. There is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, a student will paint, construct or photograph something that goes a different direction, usually borne out of something very personal. The end result might not feel entirely comfortable to an adult, but the magnetism of the piece is unmistakeable.  The theme of this issue is taking it "To The Edge"-pieces that take the concept of artwork past the expected to the edge.   

Artist: David Munson   

Adult Comment: David is interested in all forms of art. He works with surface design on garments as one of his projects at home. This is one of a pair of vests embellished with metal studs and embossed with fabric patches. 
-Art teacher Carolyn Brown

Artists: Colby Hill and Haley Cushing
My father and friend made a skateboard out of Canadian Maplewood by pressing it in a concave press. We made the deck of it and then the art is just a tree with diamonds around it. My friend Haley and I liked the color and design and made it just for fun. The skateboard itself is rideable.  
-Colby Hill

Artist: Alice Wang

 Artist: Alice Wang 

Artist: Alice Wang

Editor comment: Alice's work immediately caught my eye. She was so proficient in so many mediums; drawing, sculpture, fashion design. The ceramic shoe above was done in the style of Lady Gaga. Her fashion sketches alone show she's going places. In fact, Alice spent her summer at The Rhode Island College of Design program. As you can see above, a model at an end-of-season show wore one of Alice's unconventional designs. 

Alice Wang (photo: Kay Stephens)

Alice's designs were so fascinating, I ended up interviewing her for The Pen Bay Pilot series, "Hail To The Rad Kids."  To see the inspiration behind the above designs, click on the story link above.

 Artist: Bella Perry 

Adult Comment: Bella's work is based on the novels by Stieg Larson Girl with the Dragon Tattoo using cardboard, newspaper and paint. I believe Bella was partially influenced by student work she saw in last year's (2011) Fine Arts Night, by Andy Schlebecker as he worked with unconventional materials, including Altered Book materials, to create self-portraits.
-Art Teacher Carolyn Brown 
-Art Teacher Suzanne Southworth

Artist: Cody Barnett  

We had to pick a word to go with this exercise. It was the first day of art class and I was just doodling around. I haven’t used crayon in a while and I originally started with drawing the guy and then was told I had to incorporate a word so I was like “Oh God.” I couldn’t think of a word so I said, thought “why not, just use the word, Word.” 
Artist: Cody Barnett
I just kind of went with this drawing. I play a lot of video games so I drew this assault rifle 636. A tree is coming out of the rifle. I’ve grown up seeing a lot of war—this whole decade has been war and this is a way of showing peace through a different way. 

Adult Comment: Cody has an awesome follow up drawing to the ones you have here. He is now at Montana State studying graphic design.
-Art Teacher Suzanne Southworth

Artist: Kierra Bunting
(Photo and story appeared in Pen Bay Pilot's feature "Hail To The Rad Kids.")
“I like street art a lot,” she says of one of her photos featuring the graffiti of Frank The Bunny from the movie, Donnie Darko on a utility box behind the Cutting Edge. “I was hanging out back here with my friends to go look at the water and I turned around and there it was. Donnie Darko is one of my favorite movies, so I think this is one of the cooler [examples] of graffiti in town.” She took her film SLR camera, one of 10 old-school and digital cameras she has acquired. “So I zoomed in on it and I just wanted an angular shot.”

Artist: Kierra Bunting
I really like graffiti on these signs—they’re all around town. There’s another one—‘Can’t STOP dancing’ and another one that says STOP and someone spray painted Hammertime underneath. 

Editor Comment: I got to spend some time with Kierra and walked around town with her to see what inspired her photography. Like a lot of teens, she finds little hidey-holes all around the Midcoast, places adults don't normally seek out, like that place under the stairs where she found the graffiti on the electrical box. Her photography emphasizes little sharp details in Camden that we walk by a million times and never see.

Artist: Tyler
(Photo and story appeared in

Tyler, who donated his artwork to the Out! As I Want To Be auction said: "I donated my art because I love Out! As I Want To Be. It's a fabulous place for people to go and feel comfortable to be themselves. While drawing, I feel comfortable doing what I'm good at, so I figured I'd donate this [Adam Lambert] piece to them. It was actually for school project last year. I had to draw my idol, and well, he is my idol."

Adult Comment: Tyler donated two charcoal portraits to our Silent Auction for an Out! As I Want To Be fundraiser. This one was "Adam Lambert" and he had another one, "Burlesque."  They show his keen observation and skilled hand - and both were sold! Both of the pieces that Tyler donated to our auction were very personal works. His self portrait showed the hesitancy LGBT youth feel about being out there, yet depicted his own very personal style, as well. His generosity is so appreciated.  All told, 40 community members and businesses contributed artwork, services and merchandise to the auction which raised more than $2500 for Out! As I Want to Be's drop-in and other programs for youth. It is a great outpouring of community support
-Harriet Mosher, Director, Out! As I Want to Be
-Lis Clark, mentor 

We're now looking for fall submissions! The next theme is:  Supernatural & Beyond ( writing or artwork that explores concepts of death and worlds beyond our own.).

To submit, email, call (207) 236-9800 or mail to: Five Town Communities That Care, P.O. Box 1135, 219 Meadow Street, Rockport, ME 04856. Please include a real name and a phone number so Stephens can get in touch with you for editing purposes.

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