Ryan Hoyt said one of his latest art assignments morphed into a philosophical statement of optimism.
His piece, "Rebirth," was selected to be a part of the N.C. General Assembly's Youth Art Exhibit.
The year-long display in the Legislative Building in Raleigh will have 13 pieces of artwork from students throughout the state. Students, parents, teachers and principals of selected artists will attend an opening reception with House members in May.
Hoyt, a 14-year-old from Harrisburg, created his piece using oil pastels with a glue outline.
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"My work is a landscape of a barren mountain range, and a sunrise peeking between two mountains," said Hoyt. "It means that even though things look bleak, there's always another day. That's why it's called 'Rebirth.'
"I thought it looked like the rain shadow of a mountain range, and thus the other side is lush and probably full of evergreens. To me, this is a hidden Easter egg for those who know there are two sides to a mountain."
Carolyn Fisher, Hoyt's art teacher at Liberty Preparatory Christian Academy in Mooresville, submitted his artwork. Organized by the N.C. Art Education Association and N.C. General Assembly, the annual exhibit allows North Carolina students in grades K-12 to share their creativity with legislators and the public.
"Ryan's work exhibits an original and creative spirit with an attention to detail," said Fisher. "This piece uses vivid colors while creating a serene atmosphere."
This is the first time Hoyt's work will appear on a national stage.
"It's a great feeling to know that I'm artistically represented in front of so many people," said Hoyt. "I want people to see that reason and expression are still present in schools.
"This particular piece was a required school assignment, and it had to be a natural scene, but I went and made it into something beyond what was required. It has definitely inspired me to go after further achievements."
Hoyt said his parents, Michele and Todd, introduced him to art at an early age. The family has lived in Harrisburg since 2009.
Hoyt said he took a variety of art classes as a preschooler and beyond. Since then, he's created his own definition of art.
"Art is taking your view of something and translating it into the tongue of colors and shapes understood by all," said Hoyt. "Art is one of the school subjects I've enjoyed most. I've always been the artistic type. I like creating, producing, and to take myself and put it into something is work I'll do gladly."