For her artwork class in the course of her junior 12 months at Flagler-Palm Coastline Superior University, photographer Briana Aguiar decided to concentrate on portraits.

Under no circumstances brain that the 16-year-old Bunnell resident, who commenced to severely pursue photography only through her freshman yr, experienced won very first location in the architecture group of the Photographic Modern society of America’s 2020 Youth Display – an intercontinental competition.

Under no circumstances head that pandemic-enforced social distancing manufactured photographing men and women a lot more challenging than capturing a unicorn.

For her portfolio class under art instructor Edson Beckett, “this yr we have the AOC, our area of focus,” Aguiar claims. “I made a decision I would do a lot more portraits because in the past I’ve only taken mother nature and architecture. I wished to focus on persons, but that created it genuinely tough this 12 months mainly because individuals never want to be seriously near. It is been truly really hard to find persons to choose pictures of – I experienced to vacation resort to just my loved ones or my pals. I have been definitely grateful for that.”

So, with the pandemic impacting her procedure a lot more than her photography’s content, Aguiar says she asked her buddy Makayla Catalan “to fulfill me at the seashore in the morning and we’ll try out to acquire some photos and see what transpires.”

What occurred is that Aguiar’s photo, which she titled “Beach Breeze,” received Finest of Demonstrate in the 2021 High College University student Present offered by the Flagler County Art League. This 12 months the annual exhibition, which functions perform by FPCHS and Matanzas Higher Faculty pupils, is on the internet at flaglercountyartleague.org via April 30.

The show’s is effective array from basic landscapes and even now everyday living to horror movie posters, movie star portraits and Dali-esque fantasy. Winners ended up also named in seven categories of mediums: painting, pastel, digital art, drawing, graphic structure, combined media and coloured pencil.

The leading 3 will work will be on display from Could 8-31 at Galleria d’Arte, 230-231 St. Joe Plaza Push, Palm Coast. Along with Aguiar’s “Beach Breeze,” individuals will work include “Hunter’s Arc,” a watercolor and gouache painting by J.D. Sweeney, which gained To start with Spot of Show, and “Smiling Earth,” a graphic structure by Jaiden Arnett, which won Second Position of Present.

All a few are FPCHS students beneath Beckett, the  2010 Flagler County Artist of the 12 months who is in his thirty-3rd yr at the school and at this time teaches innovative placement art and layout as effectively as digital media.

“It’s just been a definitely strange 12 months,” states Beckett, who notes that about 30 % of his college students, including most of his innovative learners, are attending lessons remotely. “I really don’t seriously see a great deal of the performs in development. I really do not see them till they have turned them in. It’s been really hard to critique, whilst we however try out to do it. I was fearful we might not get extremely excellent get the job done at all for the reason that I’m not standing in excess of their shoulders and supplying them steerage as they’re operating – the distant young ones anyway.

“Smiling Earth,” a graphic style by Jaiden Arnett, received Next Spot of Show in the 2021 Large School Scholar Present.

“I have incredibly superior expectations for these young ones, and they will convey to you I convey to them this all the time, that the bar is definitely, definitely large. I’ve almost certainly dampened individuals expectations, not on objective but simply because of the whole predicament we’re in appropriate now. But they’ve satisfied or even exceeded what I believed they would be equipped to do in this situation, each in particular person and the remote youngsters, which has been a super pleasant surprise.”

Aguiar’s “Beach Breeze,” at very first look, is a seemingly uncomplicated photograph: A younger lady is carrying a surfboard higher than her head, and her confront is turned away from the camera as she stares at some unknowable anything in the distance. As photojournalism, the shot commits a enormous faux pas – we can not see the face of its human subject matter, which would make virtually any newspaper or information web site editor snarl and press the delete critical (nevertheless obviously not in this article).

Briana Aguiar (Julie Aguiar)
Briana Aguiar (Julie Aguiar)

But Aguiar is not taking pictures the information. As a substitute she has captured what essential art theorists, sociologists and existential philosophers this kind of as Jean Paul Sartre simply call “the gaze” – the social, psychological and power dynamics of looking at and staying viewed. And, amazingly, Aguiar has carried out so with out even depicting the eyes of her human subject. By capturing her issue with head turned and gazing at some mysterious “other” in the distance, she can take viewers not only over and above the confines of her frame – she forces us to “know” there is a entire world further than what she depicts — but she also seduces viewers into the realms of the psyche, getting and nothingness . . . just what is it that has ensnared the gaze of the younger surfer, and why?

Artwork show decide Hanneke Jevons, a colored pencil artist, photographer and art trainer who retired from Flagler County Faculties in 2010, claimed in her demonstrate responses that Aguiar’s “Beach Breeze” “gives a cohesive graphic of an anticipated celebration. There is an fantastic use of composition by working with a delicate focus for the background and a sharper graphic of the surfer and board. The viewer is drawn in by excellent use of angles, softness of colours, and the cropping of the figure to emphasize the anticipation of the occasion.”

Beckett states for previous pupil shows, he permitted learners in his highly developed courses to post “their strongest piece.” On the other hand, for the reason that it was an on the web demonstrate, FCAL restricted the variety of works that could be submitted, “so I selected the pieces this time close to,” Beckett suggests. “I tried out to opt for a variety. I selected some from my AP young ones, some from my innovative portfolio young ones, some from my electronic media young children. There have been 7 groups, so I tried using to make absolutely sure there wasn’t a category that went without having an entry.”

Throughout her beach front photograph session with her mate, Aguiar states her winning photograph did not right away stand out.

“That was a single of my favorites of all the pics I did that working day, but when I was using it, I didn’t go ‘That’s the picture,’ ” she states. “I will not delete any of the photographs I get, for the reason that I might get household and definitely like them.”

While she utilizes a electronic digital camera these days, “the total level of all the pics I acquire is to make them glimpse like film,” Aguiar states. “I’ve worked with movie in the previous, particularly my first year, and I actually love the way it appears to be like. I like it extra than electronic, but it is high priced and it is a great deal of operate to do that.” (Beckett notes that the commencing images study course at FPCHS emphasizes black-and-white strategies, and that pupils course of action their personal movie and make their individual prints in the school’s two dim rooms.)

“I really want to make images my job,” Aguiar states. “The major desire is to 1 working day be a photographer for National Geographic. I genuinely like taking pictures of nature. But I wouldn’t be mad if it just stayed a passion.”

Whilst the pandemic introduced a problem for Aguiar to find topics for her portrait pictures, J.D. Sweeney, whose portray “Hunter’s Arc” won 1st Put of Present, says the pandemic “of program impacted my stream of creative imagination, my psychological wellness and how I was able to continue to keep up the motivation to do my art.”

“Hunter’s Arc,” a watercolor and gouache painting by J.D. Sweeney, won First Place of Show in the 2021 High School Student Show.
“Hunter’s Arc,” a watercolor and gouache portray by J.D. Sweeney, gained Initially Spot of Clearly show in the 2021 Substantial University Pupil Show.

Even so, the 16-calendar year-previous junior and Palm Coast resident finally “was inspired to do art additional for the reason that it kept me inside of,” in Sweeney’s words. “Because my artwork is conventional (as opposed to electronic), you can build artwork out of just about anything. You do not want great resources, like higher-high quality pens or markers.”

That mentioned, Sweeney provides, “I largely use watercolor, and I use Prismacolor markers to do depth in ink.”

Akin to Aguiar, Sweeney’s subject make a difference, at minimum “Hunter’s Arc,” was not influenced by the pressures of the pandemic.

“When I commence painting or generating an graphic, I largely have a pretty vague impression in my brain,” he suggests. “I listen to music although I operate so a great deal of the time that influences my feelings or how I feel. I can go into a portray with an plan of, let us say, painting a flower, and it’ll come out like a goddess — it’ll be some thing absolutely diverse. It’s just a inventive movement. Regardless of what comes about comes about. No matter what will come out on the paper, it’s usually one thing imaginative and innovative and anything that I want people to be afflicted by.”

As for the music that gets to be her muse: “My music vary is genuinely drastic – I hear to early ’20s and ’30s swing up to 2015 punk rock. It just depends on what mood I’m in, and it generally affects what arrives out. I like to pay attention to tunes that has a deep this means and that has a quite distinctive style. I pay attention to a lot of Queen and different. A person of my beloved bands proper now is Will Wooden – he results in a whole lot of unique songs that has no generic circulation.”

Sweeney’s “Hunter’s Arc” depicts a grim-confronted woman with large-brimmed fedora and blood smudged on her design-esque cheekbone, though she’s nonchalantly holding some form of shotgun-like weapon about her ideal shoulder. With her leather-based vest, Punisher-fashion cranium belt buckle and her red, scarf-like necktie, she’s a fashionista, femme fatale and “Walking Dead” zombie hunter all rolled into 1, a combo that’s heightened by Sweeney’s style – a mashup, of sorts, of anime and expressionism.

Jevons, in her judge’s comments, mentioned “Hunter’s Arc” “is an exceptional portray that works by using coloration, layout, and a sample of shapes to convey the mood. Your eye moves through the portray with the use of white/light-weight and the facial expression also displays the emotion. A potent psychological message. Technically properly completed and fantastic use of coloration.”

Even though Sweeney suggests he is undecided about his career options, he does profess a fondness for working on a sure sort of canvas – human flesh.

“I’ve dabbled in a great deal of distinct styles of art — I like to open up my prospects to be as broad as possible,” he claims. “But my variety 1 objective, my aspiration occupation would be to have my individual tattoo parlor. I’m truly fascinated in carrying out tattoo models and inking, makeup art, distinctive consequences in flicks — matters like that. It is even now a type of artwork but it is a lot more taking on the human variety and building this altered perception of fact that I genuinely like.

“Ever considering the fact that I was in elementary faculty, I would doodle on myself and it got to a position in which, when I had more time in class, I would make these full-fledged sleeves of tattoos on my arm and appear home and my dad would be like ‘What did you do? Why did you draw on by yourself?’ And I’d be like ‘I want to be a tattoo artist — I gotta follow,’” he provides with a smooth chortle.

–Rick de Yampert for FlaglerLive

“Fall Reflections” by Alana Portas won the Pastel category.
“Fall Reflections” by Alana Portas gained the Pastel class.

Classification winners of the Higher College Pupil Show consist of:

* Colored Pencil – “K POP” by Elle Marin, Mantanzas High Faculty (teacher – Amy Taylor).

* Electronic Art – “Refraction” by Amira Rooney, Mantanzas (teacher – Amanda Johnston).

* Drawing – “Still Life” by Rebecca Knotts, FPC (instructor – Amber Jensen).

* Graphic Structure – “Extraterrestrial” by Emily DelGrippo, FPC (teacher – Edson Beckett).

* Combined Media – “White Snakeroot’ by Sophia Young, FPC (instructor – Edson Beckett).

* Painting – “Oranges” by Christina Courson, Matanzas (teacher – Amy Taylor).

* Pastel – “Fall Reflections” by Alana Portas, Matanzas (instructor – Amy Taylor).

 

“K POP” by Elle Marin won the Colored Pencil category.
“K POP” by Elle Marin received the Colored Pencil group.
“Refraction” by Amira Rooney won the Digital Art category.
“Refraction” by Amira Rooney received the Electronic Art category.
“Still Life” by Rebecca Knotts won the Drawing category.
“Still Life” by Rebecca Knotts received the Drawing category.
“Extraterrestrial” by Emily DelGrippo won the Graphic Design category.
“Extraterrestrial” by Emily DelGrippo gained the Graphic Design and style classification.
“White Snakeroot’ by Sophia Young won the Mixed Media category.
“White Snakeroot’ by Sophia Young gained the Mixed Media category.
“Oranges” by Christina Courson won the Painting category.
“Oranges” by Christina Courson received the Portray classification.