You can tell Natalia Wilson is a true artist. Mooresville Arts’ 13th Annual Youth Art Show is coming up and the Mooresville 15-year-old seems barely interested that her work is going to be judged against that of her peers.
Sure, she’d like her talent to be recognized but she more interested in talking about art: the creative process, the works of others and what goes on behind the scenes of a show.
This year’s show will be held Feb. 28-March 30 at the Mooresville Depot Visual Arts Center, the home of Mooresville Arts, the local nonprofit cultural organization formerly known as the Mooresville Artists Guild. The show’s reception is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. March 10.
Any youth in the Lake Norman area is invited to participate. Artwork will be accepted 1-4 p.m. Feb. 24 and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 25.
When I teach, I tell my kids if you are creating something, you should play to win. The question I hear the most from people is how do you get this quality of work consistently. I tell them my expectations are really high. If you set the bar high, they’ll reach it.
Tiffany Fox, a fine arts teacher at Lake Norman High
Generally, those who participate in Mooresville Arts art classes or are art students at local schools make up a large percentage of the entries.
“I like seeing what all the different kids have done and what it’s like for different (Mooresville Arts) classes,” said Wilson,a Mooresville High freshman. “(I like) seeing how talented some of the artists are.”
The show generally draws 150-200 pieces from local youth, grades K-12. Paintings, drawings, ceramics and digital art are the general mediums.
“I encourage all my students to participate,” said Shelly Zulli, one of Mooresville Arts youth class instructors and the youth art show’s organizer. “Not for the competition, but just to be part of an art show and showing their best work.”
Wilson has been taking art classes with Mooresville Arts for about five years. She says her drawing style has changed from a “cartoonish style” to being a “bit more realistic” over the years.
For the art show, Wilson is entering a colored pencil drawing on black paper depicting a pair of hands holding a pomegranate with juice dripping from it. She calls it “Persephone,” after the Greek goddess.
This will be the fourth year Wilson has entered the art show but none of her work has received a ribbon for placing. She’s excited about participating again and especially about helping Zulli prepare for the show.
“I want to see the process of how they choose where certain pieces go and how many pieces there are going to be,” said Wilson. “It’s fun to see the art before it gets judged.”
The show is always months in the making. Zulli’s preparation includes printing programs and securing its advertisements and organizing the reception, which will include a performance by the Mooresville Middle School Chorus.
Zulli is proud to secure a financial sponsor for this year’s show, PeopleSuite LLC, a local staffing agency. Because of the company’s support, Mooresville Arts is able to award a $200 scholarship to a high school senior whose work is selected by the sponsor.
Zulli says multiple schools from Mooresville Graded School District and Iredell-Statesville Schools submit artwork on behalf of their students as well as several private schools and charter schools in the area.
Tiffany Fox, a fine arts teacher at Lake Norman High, has been selecting her students’ best works for the art show for the last seven years. They have a history of winning some of the top prizes, as they did recently at a Scholastic Art and Writing contest in February in Charlotte.
Fox teaches AP studio art, drawing and painting. She selects the four best works from each class to enter in the Mooresville Arts show.
“When I teach, I tell my kids if you are creating something, you should play to win,” said Fox. “The question I hear the most from people is how do you get this quality of work consistently. I tell them my expectations are really high. If you set the bar high, they’ll reach it.”
Zulli and fellow Mooresville Arts instructors Ruzanna Carter and Anne Youngs are hoping to increase participation in their youth art program. They teach classes for 6 to 18 year olds during weekday after school hours and on Saturdays and offer art camps in the summer.
Joe Habina is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
The Mooresville Arts Youth Art Show will be on exhibit Feb. 28 to March 30 with a reception 6-8 p.m. March 10 at the Mooresville Depot Visual Arts Center, 103 W. Center Ave., Mooresville.
Gallery hours are 12-4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
For information about the youth art show or classes, call Mooresville Arts at 704-663-6661 or email email@example.com.