Adolescent Artistry

The community turned out in droves to see the Mt. Lebanon High School Art Show on Friday, April 20. Perusing the three floors of the show, spread around the grand staircase and Center Court, you could hear animated questions from the crowd, directed at the young artists: “Why did you choose to use this medium?” “Tell me about your technique.” “What inspired you?” “Is this for sale?”

The students wore their best black dress clothes, with corsages for the seniors, and they each stood proudly in front of their work, addressing the crowds and graciously accepting critiques and compliments.

One such student was Mercyne Demma, who will attend Thiel College in the fall to major in biomedical engineering and play three sports—cheer, lacrosse and equestrian. “My inspiration is inspired by surrealist films like Coraline or Tim Burton movies,” says Edemma. “I’m very interested in prosthetics—I do them for Halloween every year—so this year, I picked mediums from nontraditional materials such as cement, matches and aluminum.”

Duncan Chamberlin also decided to try something new, causing him to discover his love of sculpture, which he will study in the fall at the Maryland Institute College of Art. “Last year was 2D, so I thought, ‘why not try sculpting this year?’ And I just fell in love. Polymer clay is my favorite by far, but I’ve tried many different mediums.”

Experimentation through art is a privilege for the AP art students, many of whom were in the class for the second year in a row, allowing them to really discover their expertise. “Last year, I used a much more cohesive style with muted color schemes,” says Paulina Braverman, “but this year, I wanted to commit to a style in each piece–either realistic or abstract, standard or non-traditional portraits, so that each choice will tell a story.” Braverman will start as a freshman in the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan in the fall.

It’s safe to say that we have an artistically minded community here in Mt. Lebanon, and after perusing the art show, it’s clear that we foster and encourage artistic talent through a combination of respecting our young artists and offering them a top-notch arts program. From embroidery to portraiture to sculpture and beyond, the pieces displayed at the art show proved the strength of the program which allows students to learn the fundamentals of art and, ultimately, find their niche to truly express themselves.

If you couldn’t make it to the Art Show, scroll down to get a taste of what our young local artists are creating in high school.