It was when the Norwalk High School junior took a photograph of the door for an art assignment that she realized how beautiful it is. That was also when Montana said she noticed all the details.
“After that I thought it was really pretty,” said the 16-year-old daughter of Andy and Joanne. “It was very intricate and had grapevines. It had arches around it. I felt like I could do a lot of textures and techniques.”
Montana is one of several local high-school students who has their artwork reproduced in the new calendar from VacationLand Federal Credit Union.
Also representing NHS are seniors Audrey Harness and Maya Reineck and junior Mary Moore.
“I think they created something that was very representative of the quality of the artwork here here at Norwalk High School,” art teacher Rachel Hipp said.
Edison High School junior Brendon Elliot and sophomore Joe Malick also have artwork in the calendar as do students from Bellevue, Margaretta and Sandusky. Each school received $100 from VacationLand for its art department.
EHS art teacher Dave Wolf said Elliot did a charcoal landscape of a forest while Malick produced a Photoshop work of Abraham Lincoln, which consists of words from his Gettysburg Address.
Bellevue art teacher Leslie Woodard selected tempera paintings of dogs by juniors Maren Coffelt and Mckenna Strayer. Coffelt painted a St. Bernard for the class assignment while Strayer did a German Shepherd.
“I thought they were strong,” Woodard said, referring to the paintings done in unrealistic or “non-representational” colors. “I’m very pleased.”
In previous years, the calendars created by VacationLand Federal Credit Union featured photos from contests for credit-union members and employees.
“This was the first year with the art students. I love this calendar. I think this was a win-win for everybody,” CEO Bryan Myers said.
VacationLand reached out to NHS art teachers Hipp and Tracy VanBuskirk about entering their students’ artwork. They attempted to chose different mediums and looked for a combination of realistic and abstract art.
“Everything I submitted they took. She didn’t give me a limit on what we could submit,” said VanBuskirk, who was asked about the quality of what the students created. “They have put a lot into this art department. They produce really good work, no matter what.”
Harness did an oil painting of the galaxy. NHS science teacher Nate Whaley suggested to Hipp that her students produce some astronomy-related art, so the art teacher found different images on the internet and had the teenagers choose from those.
It took about a month-and-a-half for Harness to complete her painting.
“I really like the dark background with the really bright colors; it really pops,” said the 18-year-old daughter of Ryan and Tawny Orwig. “I probably love (oil paint) a tad more than acrylic. It’s easy to work with.”
Moore stayed closer to home for her oil painting — a tomato. It sat in a light box which showed off its color.
“I really like oil painting. It’s really easy to blend. I prefer photography, but I do like painting,” said the 16-year-old daughter of David and Carol.
When asked why she chose to paint a tomato, Moore said she wanted to be different than her classmates.
“Everybody was leaning toward the vibrant green,” she added.
Like Montana, Reineck’s art has a personal connection. She drew the building of The Freight House Pub & Grill, where she used to work.
In addition to the drawing, Reineck also has a scratchboard piece reproduced in the calendar. She said the most challenging part of the Freight House drawing was getting the values of dark, light and the shadows correct.
“I loved working there (at Freight House). I liked the people I worked with,” said the 18-year-old daughter of Dave and Trina. “They are buying it from me once I’m done with competitions.”