PHHS artist taking part in IN-Focus exhibition

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    By kristy deer

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    If a picture is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes, student photographers at Pendleton Heights High School were hoping to say plenty at a local art exhibition.

    Several Pendleton Heights High School photographers took part in the IN-Focus competitive exhibition at the Anderson Center for the Arts.

    The exhibition was open to all photographers in Indiana.

    The local students were part of the art center’s 36th photography exhibition IN-Focus. It was an opportunity for photographers of all ages to share their photos with the community, organizers said.

    Samson Hunckler, Pendleton Heights High School art director, said the contest is a great opportunity for his students to show off their skills and receive feedback for their work.

    “Although there is a youth division, the judges for the show evaluate each piece, including all those in the youth division,” Hunckler said. “So, for the students, just making the show is a big deal, and then if they win an award, well heck, that’s just awesome.”

    Most students participating from Pendleton Heights High School are sophomores through seniors.

    The Pendleton Heights High School students who took part in the exhibition and contest are Rachel Brown, Mariel Claxon, Abbey DeFouw, Juan Garcia, Emma Hall, Jaycie Haywood, Taylor Hendrickson, Brook Hutner, Hannah Illuzzi, Mackenzie Kemper, Sam Lamb, Serena Lane, Bailey Miles, Chis Neeley, Broderick Schipp, Marie-Claire Sizemore and Sidney Shoaf.

    Brown, a 17-year-old junior, wants to be a professional photographer. She won three awards in the event.

    She had limited experience entering contests, she said. This was only her third one and first time with IN-Focus.

    “I was really nervous entering the event because I usually only show my work to my teacher or friends,” she said.

    However, after winning, coming in first for Best of Animal/Wildlife photos, it’s a different feeling.

    “It was so exciting,” she said. “I want to do something in photography and that kind of made me feel better about doing it.”

    Hunckler loves having students’ photos evaluated by experts professionally displayed in a gallery and viewed by a wide audience.

    The awards are a great incentive, he said, but its the experience of participating in a show that really drives him to get the students to take part.

    The student photos were judged in February, however, the photos will be on display at the Anderson Center for the Arts for several more weeks, a shorter time than the adult photos.

    The exhibition was arranged by the Anderson Fine Arts Foundation Inc.

    The adult section of the art show photos will be on display through April 8.

    All prints were judged, and a limited number of entries were selected by the judges for public exhibition.

    There were 14 award categories: Best People, Best Nature/Scenic, Best Animal/Wildlife, Best Architecture, Best Film, Best Digital Manipulation and Best Open.

    A Special Award sponsored by the Harvey Riedel Family – The Evelyn Riedel Memorial Award will be presented as determined by People’s Choice. Voting by the public will take place during the open exhibition dates and the winner announced at the end of the show.

    Any photographer in high school, or under the age of 18, living in the state of Indiana was able to enter the Youth Division.

    All youth entries were judged separately.

    The youth division section of the art show will be closing early on Sunday, March 19, so organizers can accommodate the Art Association of Madison County Student Show.

    Hunckler said his students have had much success with this show, reflecting their efforts and the art program at Pendleton Heights in a wonderful light.

    Some of the students have developed a following based on their works and participation in the exhibition, Hunckler said, while there are others who like the show just to see what the students are doing artistically.

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    Pendleton Heights High School Art Show student winners:

    Best of Animal/Wildlife – Rachel Brown

    Best of Architecture – Bailey Miles

    Best of Digital Manipulation – Taylor Hendrickson

    Animal/Wildlife Special Merit – Rachel Brown

    Architecture Special Merit – Broderick Schipp

    Open Special Merit – Rachel Brown

    Honorable Mention Award winners – Hannah Illuzzi; Mackenzie Kemper; Chris Neeley (two of his photos were recognized); Bailey Miles; Sidney Shoaf; and Marie-Claire Sizemore.

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