Nantyr Shores students win prizes for works exhibited at the MacLaren Art Center (10 photos)

Alyssa Johnstone, Doran Stephen and Amber Fowler Recognized in 2022 Portfolio Showcase at Downtown Barrie Gallery

Three students from Nantyr Shores recently won awards for their artwork presented at the MacLaren Art Center in downtown Barrie.

Their pieces were part of the Portfolio 2022the local gallery’s annual exhibit featuring work by grade 12 students from across the county.

With nearly 500 ballots received, Nantyr Shores student Alyssa Johnstone won the audience award for her acrylic painting and ink marker, Time is up. Doran Stephen and Amber Fowler of Nantyr Shores also received awards for their work.

The jurors for Portfolio 2022 were MacLaren Director/Curator Lisa Daniels and Education Coordinator Heather Riley for works that were on display throughout March.

“The feedback we received this year was wonderful. The community was very excited to see the students’ work and were very impressed with the quality of the work presented,” said Riley.

“I want to congratulate Amber, Doran and Alyssa for their hard work and outstanding achievement this year at the 2022 MacLaren Graduating Student Portfolio Showcase,” said Nantyr Shores visual arts teacher Angela Taylor. “I’m so proud of all of them! I’m going to miss having them in my class next year.”

Johnstone said the showcase was a great opportunity for budding young artists like her to be recognized.

“When I got the message that I was accepted into the showcase, I was thrilled,” she said. “I felt honored to be able to share my art with more people in the community alongside all the other amazing artwork. It made me feel a whole new appreciation for my own artwork.”

She didn’t think things could get any better until she was told she had been chosen for the People’s Choice showcase award.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who thought my works were worth upvoting, and I hope it impacted many. The support I received during the showcase gave me the inspiration to keep making art,” she said.

The theme of his play Time is up, focused on loss of motivation. Using acrylic paints and black ink markers on canvas, she created an image of a girl lying lazily in a bedroom with seven clocks on the wall, each set to different times.

“I mainly used the symbolism and the element of color to replicate what it feels like to lose motivation. Demotivation can be very overwhelming and very exhausting, and I think everyone will struggle with that at some point in his life,” she said. .

Johnstone discovered his passion for art around the age of nine, beginning primarily with pencil drawings and then progressing to using other mediums.

After high school, she plans to attend college to study digital media or graphic design while pursuing her visual arts to sell.

Stephen had two pieces on display at the show: sense of identity and space invaders. Both were self-portraits done in acrylic paint. sense of identity shows Stephen on a bed in a purple and pink bedroom, holding a mask of his face.

“The theme was personal space. I hold that very close to me, I really like having time to myself,” Stephen said. “I chose purple and pink because pink represents self-love and purple represents self-reflection.”

the space invaders room was a contrast to the other room, a portrait of her standing in a crowded subway, with a disappointed expression.

“It just showed how I feel when I don’t have space to think,” she said.

For her subway piece she knew exactly how she wanted it to be and it took her about two to three weeks to paint. But her other piece, she says, took her a bit longer.

“It took longer because I didn’t know what I wanted it to be,” Stephen said, adding that it ended up being completely different from what she had originally imagined.

Stéphane has always had a passion for art.

“It just expanded over the years, I got more interested in painting,” she said.

Stephen took art classes throughout high school.

“I love my art teacher, I’ve had her every year,” Stephen said of Taylor.

The class all participated in the same project, with 10 pieces from the class chosen to compete for a place in the show, with three chosen.

“It was so weird seeing my own art on the walls of an art gallery. People were looking at my art and seeing me and they were like ‘is that you?’ Stephen said.

For now, Stephen has the paintings at home and doesn’t know what she’s going to do with them. But she’s glad she was able to be included in the art gallery exhibit.

Stephen says she hopes to continue her art on the side.

“Maybe as a side hustle to do in my free time,” she said. “I hope to be a veterinarian.”

Amber Fowler also had two of her pieces on display at the gallery: Personal pressure and Drowning.

Although both deal with the same theme of loneliness and isolation, they are completely different types of art.

Personal pressure is a concept piece, of a shattered glass jar with burnt pieces of paper from Fowler’s diary entries made throughout the pandemic.

“I decided to take the jar and throw it in the snow,” she said, “and the two conflicting temperatures caused the pressure to break the jar.”

Setting diary entries on fire showed the need to let out feelings of sadness and frustration during isolation.

“I arranged the pieces to look like a mess, showing how damaged and messed up you can feel after breaking away from the pressures and anxieties that have been bottled up,” Fowler said.

His other piece, Drowningis a digital painting done on a Samsung Galaxy S7 of a girl camouflaged in an underwater setting of shades of dark blue and light blue waters and coral.

“My aim for this painting was to express the difficulty of feeling alone, as if no one is there for you. I portrayed the idea of ​​being camouflaged with everyone, because it is difficult to admit your difficulties,” she said.

Fowler plans to keep both pieces, as a reminder not only of the series, but also of the chapter in her life where she was forced to be isolated from her friends and classmates, and how she was able to persevere.

Fowler plans to get into interior design after high school and continue doing art on the side.

“It’s really fun for me, I really like doing it,” she said.