Steamboat Springs High School art student Sage Sullivan and mentor Missy Borden check out Sullivan’s artwork at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts on Tuesday morning.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs High School art student Sage Sullivan and mentor Missy Borden check out Sullivan’s artwork at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts on Tuesday morning.

Steamboat AP art students hang final show


Past Event

Steamboat Springs High School AP student art show opening

  • Thursday, April 11, 2013, 5 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts, 837 Lincoln Ave. , Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free


— Through her classes at Steamboat Springs High School, Emma Wilson doodles dots and geometric shapes, wound together in a snakelike fashion and ever-expanding across her notebooks.

When it came to choosing a theme for her Advanced Placement art project, she was drawn to those dream-like designs. So she took the doodles that occupy her mind in her other classes and made them the centerpiece of her AP art concentration.

“It’s kind of like watching thoughts happen,” she said.

The doodles are the thoughts of her subjects manifested as patches on their skin or designs radiating from their minds.

Every impression from the outside world absorbs a new thought, she said.

In one piece, an upturned faced is splotched with the signature design as droplets create unique imprints on the subject’s skin.

“It’s showing that with each raindrop, you feel something different,” she said.

The annual AP art class student show will be on display this month at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts. The students hung their final art projects Tuesday, and an opening will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The works range from acrylic to mixtures of watercolor and ink on paper. The students chose subjects that ranged from abstract to landscapes to portraits.

Student Breanna Cook said she was going through a rough patch emotionally in her life when she started working on her concept of transformation.

She uses a bare female figure seen intertwined, twisting and rising from other objects. Cook said it’s representative of the inherent good in people rising to the forefront.

She used watercolor and pen to illustrate the tenderness of the spirit and the details of the abstraction she portrayed.

“I found I could put my energy into something,” she said about using art as catharsis. “I didn’t mean to make (the figures) all look the same, but I guess … it’s kind of me.”

The 13 students in Lisa Derning’s AP art class had the chance to work with professional artist mentors throughout the year like local abstract painter Jan Maret Willman. Through the Center for Visual Arts' Artist Mentoring Program, now in its fifth year, the students got a taste of what life as a professional artist could be like.

But with an ever-changing landscape for digital information, Derning had the young artists communicate with their mentors, share their work and get critiques online.

“It all made for a very interesting critique,” Willman said. “We each had the chance to mentor all of the students.”

She said she remembers being at that early stage in her art career when critiques could make or break your work or how you felt.

But she said the experience of producing and hanging a first art show is an important one through which to grow.

“There’s a huge shift in the whole emotion and the process of looking at the work,” she said. “It’s more than having a show.”

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email


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