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2024 Aquidneck Island
High School Art Show

in Memory of Rosemary Day

February 9 to 16, 2024

The 2024 Annual Aquidneck Island High School Art Show, hosted by the DeBlois Gallery, honors its originator, the late Rosemary Day, a devoted Middletown High School art teacher and member of DeBlois Gallery. Rosemary firmly believed in her students as practicing artists who should have the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in public. In this spirit, DeBlois Gallery, bringing together the hard work of high school art teachers, art students, and private donors, continues the tradition of the annual show that Rosemary Day started over 20 years ago.

Participating schools are the Met School, with teacher Cara Willi; Middletown High School, with teachers Lucas Lundgren and Christin Woolbright; Portsmouth High School, with teachers Nancy Brandley, Krista Hook, Mel Olsen (High School Show Coordinator), and Jordan Silveria; and Rogers High School, with teachers Hope Lowe and Barbara Wunderler-Selby.

This year we welcome back the Anthony Quinn Foundation in celebrating the creativity of our young art students with the artwork of Anthony Quinn, renowned Oscar-winning actor and extraordinary artist. It was because of his artistic talent that he received a scholarship in high school that would help to launch his phenomenal career.
A non-profit organization founded by Katherine Quinn in 2001 to perpetuate the memory of Anthony Quinn and his achievements, the Anthony Quinn Foundation provides scholarships to High School students who aspire to pursuing a career in the arts. Serving as an advocate for young people with a passion for the arts, the goal of the Anthony Quinn Foundation is to assist youths through the granting of awards and scholarships for higher cultural education and the advancement of a career in the arts.

The Rosemary Day Art Award Winners

Left to right: Sophia Bilotta, Portsmouth HS; Georgia Hekking, The Met School;
Aidan Chen, Portsmouth HS; Sydney Rinfret, Portsmouth HS

Not shown: Melisa Lopez-Lorenzana, Amaiya Beltre, and Maeve Higgins, Rogers HS;
Izzy Lynch, the Met School; Maighan Parsley, Kylie Schwartz,
and Sophia Stalnaker, Middletown HS

Melisa Lopez-Lorenzana
Rogers High School

Medium: Pencil; Teacher: Barbara Wunderler
Juror's remarks: This is a delightful pencil drawing of a woman kissing a baby with very expressive use of lines and values. The placement of the woman, baby and flowers on the paper is a strong compositional element which is well balanced by the negative shape around it.

Amaiya Beltre
Rogers High School

Untitled Painting; Teacher: Barbara Wunderler
Juror's remarks: Strong colors, design and lines invite you into this painting. The colors of the tree, leaves and bird are bold and the red hearts accentuate the strong composition of these elements. These strong elements are offset by the more subtle background of sunset and fish in the sky. A lovely painting with a lot to look at.
Maeve Higgins
Rogers High School

Koi Fish Slab Box: Ceramic; Teacher: Hope Lowe
Juror's remarks: This ceramic slab box has wonderful movement which is very fitting for the subject matter of Koi fish and water which flow around its four sides. The fish, waves and lotus on top are all well made with clay and have been inspired by their natural colors and elements.

Georgia Hekking
The Met School

Blue Avenue 2024: Digital Canvas; Teacher: Cara Willi
Juror's remarks: Very interesting subject matter and despite its name of “Blue Avenue” has a feeling of being underwater. The strong figure of the woman directs the compositional flow with her raised hand/arm and the fish are all flowing around her in an ellipse. All the eyes are also looking in the same direction, to the right outside of the picture plane. Barely noticeable is the figure behind all this activity, looking and facing in the opposite direction. A lot of interesting elements to see in this piece.
Izzy Lynch
The Met School

Conquer the World 2023: Ceramic; Teacher: Cara Willi
Juror's remarks: This ceramic piece moves in a very organic way which is repeated in its shape, holes and colorful glazed circles. A fun clay piece that you just want to touch with a sensitive use of materials.
Maighan Parsley
Middletown High School

Acrylic Painting; Teacher: Lucas Lundgren
Juror's remarks: The colors and composition of this painting immediately catch your eye and make you want to look closer. Beautiful warm colors flow through the water, sky and back to the center of the flower which is the focus of the painting. The dynamic tension and space between the two flowers are very compelling. Very strong painting techniques and use of color.
Kylie Schwartz
Middletown High School

Charcoal Drawing; Teacher: Lucas Lundgren
Juror's remarks: So many interesting elements to this drawing that makes you ask questions. Is this a (self) portrait and if so, what are the pieces of the drawing telling us about the person? The use of charcoal for drawing is done very well and there is a nice flow from one visual component to the next.

Sophia Stalnaker
Middletown High School

Sheep: Ceramic; Teacher: Christine Woolbright
Juror's remarks: A lovely ceramic work of a sheep that looks so soft despite being made from clay. The sheep’s wool is created with wonderful textures and the glaze accentuates this. A very thoughtful and well-made piece.

Aidan Chen
Portsmouth High School

Painting; Teacher: Nancy Brandley

Juror's remarks: Eight sets of eyes that make you look at them and not turn away. One asks who do these eyes belong to – friends, family, artist? And each set of eyes is very expressive with a story to tell. The drawing, composition and use of paint are all very strong and well executed in this piece.
Sophia Bilotta
Portsmouth High School

Miss Americana: Ink Wash Drawing; Teacher: Mel Olsen
Juror's remarks: This drawing/painting has a strong use of its ink washes, not something easy to do. It is a delightful self-portrait and fun subject matter in response to a Taylor Swift song. The drawing, composition and use of lights and darks all work well to create a very strong “Miss Americana”.
Sydney Rinfret
Portsmouth High School

Baby Tiger: Ceramic; Teacher: Krista Hook
Juror's remarks: A very solid and strong ceramic work of a baby tiger. The textures and colors are well done and created with confidence. The heavy metal chain around this small tiger does raise questions and makes you think more about the artist's intentions.

Scenes from Show Hanging,
Opening, and Gallery Night

Learning how to hang a show

More hanging!

Now where do these go?

Pedestal works ready to deploy

We did it, and it looks great!

Mandy Howe, show coordinator, reads a statement.

A rapt audience at a very full opening reception

Felicia Touhey, juror, announces the award winners.

Listening to Katherine Quinn discuss her late husband's works at Gallery Night

Katherine Quinn, left, with interviewer
and DeBlois artist Meredith LeBlanc, right

A lovely display of Anthony Quinn's works on paper surround the speakers.