“Fire” by Reya Sunshine

The best artwork created by high school art students in Salida, Buena Vista and five other regional high schools will be featured in the 25th annual Tri-Peaks League Art Show at the Salida SteamPlant Paquette Gallery.

The show opens Friday, April 7, with a reception from 4 to 8 p.m. The following day, April 8, the student art will be featured during the SteamPlant’s Second Saturday art reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit continues through April 22.

The Tri-Peaks League Art Show is a juried art competition with seven schools in the league competing for ribbon awards, said Janine Frazee, Salida High School’s fine arts teacher and host of this year’s event.

Students work in a variety of media and have created ceramics, jewelry, photography, mixed media and drawings as well as watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings for the show.

Besides Salida and Buena Vista, participating schools are Manitou Springs High School, Fountain Valley High School, St. Mary’s Academy, Vanguard Classical School and James Irwin Charter School.

Art teachers from each school select 10-14 of their students’ best two- or three-dimensional pieces for the show. Frazee said the art show is highly competitive and showcases the top artists from each school’s art program. Most are juniors or seniors or are taking advanced placement art classes for college credit. “It’s obvious from the quality of the artwork and the longstanding tradition of this show that these schools are well supported in the fine arts.”

Being selected for the show also speaks volumes about the quality, creativity, ideas, skill, technique and media of each student’s artwork. “We will see a lot of creativity and advanced skill levels in this show,” said Frazee, who believes it is important to allow students the freedom to have their own voice and find their own way in artistic expression.

Salida artists Mark Rittman of The Maverick Potter and Jessica Vogel of Art & Salvage will jury the show. They will award ribbons for first, second and third places in both 2-D and 3-D categories, as well as choose best of show and two juror’s choice awards. There will also be a people’s choice award, which is voted on by those who come to view the show. The recipient will be awarded the ribbon at the show’s closing. All other artwork automatically receives honorable mention ribbons.

“Love of Music” by Janine Frazee

From April 22 through 29, Frazee’s ceramic and mixed media wall hangings will be on display in the SteamPlant’s Paquette Gallery. Each year a different art teacher hosts the show and exhibits his or her own artwork. This year is Frazee’s turn.  “You’ll see relief hearts that protrude off the ceramic surface with focal points of things I love, like a bicycle, a kayak and a tree with a swing, representing my childhood memories.” Frazee also incorporates imprints of handmade doilies made by her grandmother and great-grandmother. “It becomes a combination of all our work put together. I wanted to press and embed their work into my own.”