A competitive art exhibition on display at St. Louis Community College-Meramec showcases the work of emerging artists from 17 public and private high schools around the St. Louis area.
“Intrepid” runs through March 23 in the Contemporary Art Gallery on campus. For curator Jim Ibur, professor in ceramics, it’s much more than an exhibit.
“I chose the name ‘Intrepid’ because it means to face your fears and go beyond,” he said. “It means to be adventurous.”
For Ibur, “Intrepid” complements societal changes in the past few years and looks beyond them. For the students, it’s a chance to create something they’re proud of, get their name out there, and most importantly, own up to their feelings.
The amount of work that has gone into this event is significant and, unlike most of the events at the Contemporary Art Gallery, it doesn’t happen annually. It takes meetings and constant ideas to fuel a concept that gives high school students a chance to showcase their work outside the classroom.
“Speaking to the faculty, we agreed that a competitive high school exhibit seemed like a cool idea, but we wanted to expand it to all media,” said Ibur. “I created a concept dealing with psychology, dealing with people who feel like they’re inside and others who feel like they’re outside, whether it’s race or sexual orientation or something else, and I knew high school kids could handle it.”
The pieces range from ceramic and painting to photography and the first-ever graphic design entry. Examples include a set of three canvases painted with eyes and a plaster embodiment of a human and humankind’s struggle to escape hatred and despair. Each work has its own story and ambiguity that allows the viewer to get into the mind of the artist. And with certain pieces, there are markers for prizes.
“These (pieces) have been juried with cash prizes. There’s best in show, honorable mentions, etc.,” Ibur said. “This is an opportunity for high school students to see how great Meramec is in a professional gallery.”
The exhibit is free and open to the public. For gallery hours and more information, call 314-984-7632.