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Coffee, a muffin — and art appreciation

WHS art students work is on display at Starbucks in Fred Meyer


If you are heading to the Starbuck’s inside Wilsonville’s Fred Meyer store, expect to get a little more than you ordered. In addition to that gingerbread latte or peppermint mocha, you will receive a side order of art appreciation, free of charge, courtesy of a group of art students at Wilsonville High School.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - WHS junior Anne-Marie Wieland is displaying her acrylic on canvas painting, titled The Girl at the Door.The students in Christopher Shotola-Hardt’s combined Advanced Placement art studio and AP art studio class recently installed a new group exhibit at the coffee shop. The show kicked off with a reception for the artists Tuesday evening.

Shotola-Hardt said the combined classes are the only yearlong art courses available at WHS, and students can elect to earn college credit for their participation. Each student in the class focuses on one type of artwork during the class.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jessica Land, a senior at WHS, created this piece, Buddha, using graphite on illustration board.“Each student is creating what the College Board’s AP studio art program refers to as a ‘concentration,’ basically a series or a body of work that has a theme, a compelling idea that ties all of the works together,” Shotola-Hardt said. “These students are all creating their own concentrations, and each student is going in a different direction than his or her peers, so this show is quite diverse in scope.”

Morgan Pina, a WHS senior, has benefitted from the concentration the class requires.

“Last year I was confused on what I wanted to do and what I wanted to focus on. I got interested in anorexia and the human body. I got interested in shading and how it can make a body realistic. ... I transformed that into body figures exaggerated with animal features,” she said. “All my work portrays a creepy, dark side, which is totally unlike my personality.”

Pina credited her teacher for organizing the exhibit.

Carolina Ramirez Islas, a WHS senior, also saw benefit in concentrating on one style. She has two pieces in the show, and said that one, “Tree,” is her favorite.

“I was able to portray the texture a lot, and it was more challenging because I showed the inverse of color,” she said.

She appreciates the chance to show her work to the public.

“I love it,” she said. “It’s nice to show people what we’re doing. I go in every once in a while. I like to see people looking at it. It’s really nice to get your work out. This town is very supportive of the arts. ... It’s really cool to hear that people from your town are seeing your work, something that you’re passionate about.”

Pina agreed with that sentiment.

“It’s really cool to have our art on the wall,” she said. “Shotola-Hardt does a good job of being proud of everyone. He loves seeing our art together, with so many different styles.”

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Senior Megan Stites piece, Jazz, was created with graphite on illustration board.Equally enthusiastic about art — but a little less enthusiastic than the others about showing her work — Aly Godby, a WHS junior, has a multimedia piece in the show.

“It’s part of my concentration, which is sensationalism in the media and the news. I’m just learning about it,” she said. “I use a lot of different media: ink, paint, marker, pencil.”

For Godby, the point of creating art is not to show the finished piece but to learn and grow in the process.

“To be an artist is just trying to learn. I do it to learn more,” she said.

“It is really important for artists to exhibit and to get that feedback and for them to know their work is for review,” Shotola-Hardt said. “Especially for those who are going on (to study art in college), to have an exhibition history.”

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - This untitled pen-and-ink drawing was created by WHS sophomore Abby Humphrey.Fifteen of Shotola-Hardt’s students are participating in the exhibit, which will be hanging in the Starbuck’s for two months. The store is located at 30300 SW Boones Ferry Road in Wilsonville.

Kate Hoots can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext. 112 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter @CommuniKater.