Student’s art selected for Visual Arts Exhibit

By EMILY REED

Special to the Reporter 

HOOVER – For Spain Park High School junior Olivia Williams, creating art is something she both enjoys and excels at.

“I have always been interested in art, but it wasn’t until my freshman year did I start taking art classes at school,” Williams said. “I really enjoy working on a project and coming up with ways to challenge myself.”

Williams won an honorable mention award for her art piece “Golden Eagle,” which is currently on exhibit at the Old Supreme Court Library in the state capitol.

Williams’ piece is part of a collection of original student artwork selected for the annual State Superintendent’s Visual Arts Exhibit and Bicentennial Celebration highlighting the “visual arts talent of students grades 7-12 from across the state, and the educators who help foster their creativity,” according to a release about the exhibit.

Williams’ said she was excited to hear her piece had been selected to be featured in the exhibit, and considers it an honor.

It was a family trip to the zoo with her family that served as the inspiration for the drawing, which was done in both colored pencil and pastels.

“I decided to take pictures while my family was at the zoo of some of the animals I was seeing,” Williams said. “I have always been interested in photography so I just took a bunch of pictures, and thought it would be cool to draw some of the animals. The lighting on one of the pictures I took of the eagle really stood out to me as being something I would want to draw, so that was the reason I decided to work on an eagle.”

Williams said she solely worked on the art piece while at school over a period of about 3-4 weeks.

“This piece is larger than what I am used to doing,” Williams said. “I wanted to try and work on a bigger piece, because when you work on something larger you have to focus more on the details to get it to look like you want.”

Williams’ art teacher, Cindy Childers, said Williams is an advanced placement art student, who had to come up with a series of 12 pieces that were the student’s own creation.

“The students could choose any visual concern they wanted to work on, which could range from something like circles to people,” Childers said. “Olivia chose to work on animals due to her interest in textures. Olivia is a highly technically-skilled student. Her eyes are very sharp, and she doesn’t really prefer to work in an abstract way. She really likes for things to look like a photograph and she is very good with doing portraits.”

Williams has a second piece in her “animal” series, featuring one of her pet cats, that was selected as a regional gold key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Due to being a regional winner, Williams’ piece automatically advances to a pool of artists that will have their work judged nationwide.

She will find out in March how her cat piece placed nationally.

“Olivia is very creative, and she can see a lot for her age,” Childers said. “She is in the top one or two percent of students I have ever had, but she is also just your regular, funny, kid. She is well-rounded, and comes from a great family that is really supportive of her work, and they want her to do her best, which I really think makes a difference.”

Williams remains humble about her talent, emphasizing the fact she works on many of her projects just for “fun.”

���I really enjoy seeing something and figuring out how to re-create it,” Williams said. “A lot of the stuff I do with realism I need real references so I usually take a photograph or look at a photograph of something for an art piece.”

The State Superintendent’s Visual Arts Exhibit will be in display until Feb. 23, at 600 Dexter Ave. In Montgomery.