UCS student chosen to showcase art piece in Wayne State exhibition

By: Kara Szymanski | C&G Newspapers | Published March 25, 2021

 The work titled “Angry Girl,” by Kaitlyn Gailey, of Utica High School, is the only piece chosen from Utica Community Schools for the 2021 Tri-County High School Exhibition at Wayne State University.

The work titled “Angry Girl,” by Kaitlyn Gailey, of Utica High School, is the only piece chosen from Utica Community Schools for the 2021 Tri-County High School Exhibition at Wayne State University.

Photo provided by the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History

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UTICA/STERLING HEIGHTS/SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is in the midst of its annual 2021 Tri-County High School Exhibition, and one student from Utica High School had her work accepted into this year’s show.

The work titled “Angry Girl,” by Kaitlyn Gailey, is the only piece chosen from UCS. The work was created with colored pencils.

The virtual exhibition will run March 11 through April 9, 2021. View it online at waynestategalleries.org.

This exhibition features approximately 80 selected artworks created by high school students from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Artwork by students from 19 different schools were chosen to be a part of the exhibition this year.

Laura Makar, the gallery manager at Wayne State University Art Galleries, said that Gailey’s artwork was selected for its display of technical skills and aesthetic quality.

“The drawing displays excellent technical skills and a strong understanding of the material. This unique portrait uses psychology and color theory to represent a specific emotion. By using bold colors, the work not only has a strong contrast, but forces the viewer to acknowledge the piece and pay attention to the details,” she said.

She said the artwork illustrates strong emotions of anger, frustration and annoyance.

“Her eyes and body language become a strong focal point, with her gaze directed at the viewer, thereby acknowledging your presence. When viewing the piece, you can’t help but wonder what she is thinking and if her emotions are directed at you,” she said.

The 2021 Tri-County High School Art Exhibition is marking its 10th year. The exhibition provides high school students with the opportunity to professionally exhibit their work. At the opening reception, members of the Department of Art and Art History are present to celebrate students’ creative achievements and answer questions.

On average, the exhibition receives 850 submissions from high school students. Submissions are juried and selected by a committee from the Department of Art and Art History. At the opening reception March 11, seven awards were given to students for their outstanding artwork.

Every year, the exhibition features approximately 75 selected artworks created by high school students from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. The selections are based on quality, presentation and proper application format.

“All the artwork selected for the exhibition are extraordinary. This exhibition displays a strong variety of technical skills, mediums and content. Many of the works have concepts that illustrate and comment on today’s contemporary visual culture. Visitors will be impacted by the exhibition and will be impressed by the quality of work that is on display,” said Makar.

Tom Pyrzewski, the director of galleries and special programming at the Duffy Department of Art and Art History, said that with so many submissions this year, this year’s selections were tough to choose.

“I want to share my deepest respect and appreciation for all of the talented students and teachers who stood on the front lines to create impactful art and design works when we really need it. We are pleased to have students interested in the exhibition and are encouraged by their participation during these unprecedented times. There were a significant number of submissions, including 10 new schools, making the selection process an extensive but enjoyable experience. The quality of craft and thoughtful concepts were remarkable this year. It’s a powerful exhibition, and being online makes for a beautiful portfolio of works,” he said.

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