CLARKS SUMMIT — The colorful artwork hanging inside The Gathering Place for Community, Art and Education runs the gamut from Fender bass guitars to landscapes.
For the next month, The Gathering Place will serve as a gallery showcasing the work of more than 20 Abington Heights High School juniors and seniors. This marks the second year the site has displayed student artwork. Awards will be given to students for four categories: photography, drawing, painting and mixed media. An additional $500 scholarship award will be given to a senior who is chosen based on artwork and an essay explaining how art will be part of his or her life after high school.
KD Jordan’s entry depicts locales from “A Christmas Carol” plus costume designs for the three ghosts featured in the Dickens classic. Inspiration for the pieces came when she took part in the cast at the school’s recent production of the play, she said. She used markers and colored pencils to hand draw the homes of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Cratchit family and clothes of the spirits of Christmas past, present and future.
The pieces could be a bit of foreshadowing of KD’s future.
“I’m hoping to major in theatrical design and production,” she said. “I haven’t decided on a college yet, but I want to be a production designer.”
Other work on display complements other creative endeavors. Senior Tamane Takehara used watercolors and ink to illustrate a town from a short story she wrote. She wanted the piece to resemble a tourism pamphlet or brochure, she said. “Welcome to Honeymilk Island” is hand-written in gold script in the top left-hand corner. Features of the island — homes, a hospital, trees and more — all stand out in vivid color. She likes putting a lot of detail into her work because it provides plenty for people to look at and pick out, she said.
“I wanted it to be like a small town and really quaint, just really dainty, so I tried to convey that through all the detail,” Takehara said.
Takehara will attend Temple University and plans to major in psychology and either minor or double major in art, she said.
Another work on display is autobiographical. Senior Sawyer Rippon crafted a mixed media piece that features black and white photos and segments of screenplay as a background with a colorful self-portrait front and center, there to add some contrast and to make the piece pop out, Sawyer said. The photos include pictures of himself and one of his dogs, Norman. The typed words are for an animated film, his second, that he’s working on, Sawyer explained.
“I wanted to encapsulate the last year,” he said.
Sawyer plans to study illustration at Marywood University.
Winners of the awards will be announced at a public reception at The Gathering Place, 304 S. State St., Friday at 6:30 p.m. The art awards and scholarship, started by Shirley Eagen and Dorothy O’Connor, were given for the first time last year.
This year’s awards are a combined project of The Gathering Place, Abington Civic League Inc., Abington Business and Professional Association, plus a great deal of help from Bob and Regina Bennett. Funds were raised through the sale of “Our Town” notecards, which feature pastel images of local businesses painted by Eagen.
“Her vision was to provide a scholarship to the students to pay it forward,” said Gretchen Eagen Mackie, Eagen’s daughter and first vice-president and art committee chair with the civic league.
Anyone who wants to stop by and check out the gallery afterward can do so by stopping by Tuesdays through Fridays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through March 21.
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The following students’ work is displayed at The Gathering Place through the end of March:
■ Arla Davis and Danielle Heine from Kayla Collura’s class.
■ Olivia Marchetta, Leia Parry, Amia Cuellar and KD Jordan from Abigail Fenton’s class.
■ Leah Mooney, Shannon Baransky, Sawyer Rippon, Destiny Moon, Tamane Takehara, Julie Spindler, Suzanna Brock, Emily Conway and Kate Chickillo from Eileen Healey’s class.
■ Zachary Allen, Caroline Ames, Elizabeth Bonczek, Sadie Henzes, Andrew Miller, Paige Moletsky, Matthew Nzasi, Carter Smith, Sophie Thompson and Tori Wells from Timothy Butler’s class.