By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – Talent, color and creativity fill the Padzieski Gallery and the upper level of the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center during the Dearborn Public Schools annual student Art Show.
The show, which runs through April 15, is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting. The exhibit temporarily closed due to the snow conditions, and is scheduled to reopen March 12.
Art Resource Teacher Sunshine Durant said the exhibit is not a contest, but a representation of the tremendous talent in the Dearborn Public Schools.
Padzieski Gallery curator Sasha Corder said the students put a lot of hard work into their art work and it is a privilege to display it at the gallery.
As guests viewed the art March 8 during the opening, Fordson High School senior and featured artist Manolia Abbas talked about her work on display, which included some self-portraits.
Abbas said her art began inauspiciously: When she was bored, she would doodle in her math notebook. She continues to enjoy pencil drawing outside of her workbooks now, and said high school art classes with deadlines gave her the impetus she needed during the past two years to produce more art work.
“I work well with the deadlines, and I think that is the only reason I have completed works,” she said.
While Abbas plans to pursue pre-med as an undergrad next year in college, she plans to continue to keep artistic endeavors in her life.
She said she would encourage students to take art classes in high school.
“There is so much of a different perspective that comes from taking an art class and having a mentor who knows so much more and introduces new ideas to you, ideas I am compelled to integrate into my work,” she said. “It’s definitely an experience. It’s fun and relaxing after five classes of stuffing your brain with knowledge.”
Dearborn High School senior and featured artist Caitlin Milligan said she’s always been a doodler, as well, but started drawing more in middle school, and when she entered high school, she began exploring other media, including film photography, painting and fabric worn art.
“It turned into me making more and more things,” she said.
Milligan encourages other students to take a chance and try art.
“You will continue to wish until you try it,” she said.
Michael Berry Career Center senior and featured artist Zahar Dourra, who plans to pursue a medical degree in the future, said she plans to continue to keep art as a part of her life.
“I do art for the joy of it,” she said. “There is no real deep meaning behind why I do it. I just do it because it gives me joy.”
DPS Supt. Glenn Maleyko said it was awesome to see so much talent on display.
“We have a lot of talented students in the district, and the kids are doing great,” he said. “Art is critical to the curriculum. Some kids connect to different things, whether it is sports or the arts, or music or other extracurriculars, and I just think it is great and I see the excitement of the families here.”
Each Dearborn public school submitted two- and three-dimensional work, with a senior showcase from the city’s public high schools.
This year’s senior showcase features Dearborn High School’s Caitlin Milligan and Sofia Ghannam, who also received the Superintendent’s Award; Audrey Stampfl and MaryClare McMahon of Dearborn’s Virtual Academy; Rayhanah Said and Manolia Abbas of Fordson High School; Mackenzie Hagen and Breanna Jackson of Edsel Ford High School; and Zaharaa Dourra of the Michael Berry Career Center.
Winners for two-dimensional work are Kaila Mohamed, virtual school, first grade, “Desert Fox;” Tamya Haddad, Miller, third grade, “Native American Bison;” Layal Othman, Woodworth, sixth grade, untitled; Mariam Serhan, Fordson High School, 10th grade, “Fullness in Emptiness;” Moses Gomez Martinez, Dearborn High School, 11th grade, self-portrait; and Daniel Ferman-Torres, Howe, “Warm and Cold.”
Three-dimensional art winners are Evelyn Hannahan, Geer Park, first grade, “Pink Unicorn;” Makayla Barrett, River Oaks, fourth grade, “Diamond Clay;” Ameleya Abbas, Unis, eighth grade, “Nice Kitty;” Mariam Aboumourod, Stout, seventh grade, “Day of the Dead;” Casimir Gabrish, Dearborn High School, 10th grade, sketchbooks 3 and 4; Reema Alata, Fordson High School, 11th grade, compilation of work; and Antonio G. Polo, Edsel Ford High School, 10th grade, untitled work.