| Apr 17, 2019

The Art Club at Land O’Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove held its annual exhibition last week with a theme of self-portraiture.

And, like all budding artists before them, they displayed an incredible amount of creativity, including playing with what ‘self-portrait’ means.

“Gabe painted Alex, Alex painted Gabe,” said teacher Lee Hull, who oversees the after-school activity. “Bella painted Bella and Izzy painted Bella.

“They got a certain amount of instruction and then we just let them do their thing.”

For example, Bayley Morden painted himself as the Joker.

“Yeah,” he said.

“We’ve done landscapes but it always rains or the leaves fall,” said Hull. “We’ve done mannequins with drapery and still lifes.

“We wanted to do something new this time.”

And they by-product was that the 20 Grade 4-7 students really let their minds loose, creativity-wise.

Keyana Whan incorporated words into her portrait.

“I kinda just wanted people to know what my hobbies were and the stuff I like,” she said.

Emilynn Crawford took a more traditional approach, albeit with a very expressionist mindset.

“I do like the realistic,” she said. “I started off thinking how the painting was going to look.”

“When painting, I’m happy and the love is in the picture even though painting is not really my art.

“I’m more into drawing and blending.”

Rachel Gray’s piece was very illustrative, with just the right touch of emotion.

“I’m just trying to make it look realistic,” she said.

And then there’s Alex Gill of ‘Alex painted Gabe’ fame.

Not only did he do a painting of a buddy, he took great pains to create a mood with setting, which may say more about the artist than the subject, perhaps making it the most creative ‘self-portrait’ of the bunch.

The background of Gill’s painting is of the night sky, compete with a full moon.

“I tried to paint stars, but they’re tough,” he said. “I just thought of it (the moon) after we saw a movie in French class about space.

“I want to be an astronaut when I grow up.”

The paintings were presented nicely in a circle, on easels that were purchased a couple of years ago from a Limestone Learning Foundation grant.

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