Lining the walls, filling cases and shelves, packing every inch of the Springs Preserve Gallery is the art and writing of seventh through 12th graders for this year’s Southern Nevada chapter of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Geared toward spotting emerging talent, the program has been recognizing young visual artists and creative writers throughout the U.S. since 1923.
Each of the 1,500 pieces clamors for attention. Visual art comprises the lion’s share with 1,200 entries. Photographers capture clever optical illusions, such as a surreal tangle of sneakers and legs (Coby Sugars, grade 7) and a bulging eyeball glaring out from within a glass goblet (Alex Mediate, grade 12). A black and white film by ninth grader David Tovar—depicting the travails of a broken pencil during an exam—resonates with the sentiment of the classic 1949 film The Bicycle Thief. A sculpted stubby gray creature (Sydney Burns, grade 9) peers forward morosely, trapped in place by a series of red strands. Listening stations invite you to hear snippets from winning writing entries. We go on first-time Ferris wheel rides (Brooke Whitney, grade 12) and a stormy hike with a Hungarian grandfather (Alex Robertson, grade 7). Considering this show as evidence, the Valley should prepare for a wave of creatives.
Through March 2 at Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd., ArtAndWriting.org.