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Annual student art exhibit spices up bakery

Juried exhibit of Wilson students on display at Baker & Spice this month


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lori Latham of Baker and Spice BakeryFor the seventh year in a row, Wilson High School is joining forces with another Hillsdale neighborhood mainstay, Baker & Spice, as the bakery plays host to a juried exhibit of Wilson student artwork.

The exhibit was the brainchild of Lori Latham, a local artist and former Wilson parent.

“I guess I was thinking it would be a great community connection for the bakery and a lot of fun for the students,” she says. “Matt and Julie Richardson, the bakery owners, are very involved supporting the local community. They loved the idea, and we’ve done it once a year in the spring since then.”

Latham juries the exhibit, working with Wilson art teachers such as Susan Parker to call for entries.

“Students in all 2-D classes are encouraged to submit work,” says Parker. “At Wilson each student is allowed to submit two pieces to be considered for the show … from drawing, painting, printmaking, advanced art, AP studio art (and) beginning and advanced photography.”

“I enjoy going to Wilson to see what students have submitted for the jury. Each year the assignments they are working on are different,” Latham says.

“The popularity of the show has grown since we started,” Parker adds. “More and more students choose to submit work.”

Casting the net so widely for an increasingly popular show has yielded a surfeit of submissions. According to Parker, this year about 300 works were submitted for consideration, of which 22 pieces by sophomores, juniors and seniors have been selected.

“With so many students interested in exhibiting their work at the bakery we make sure that we only put in one piece per artist,” Latham explains. “This year there will be an assortment of photographs, pastel drawings and paintings that cover a broad variety of topics.”

Some pieces are the work of artists on display in years past. It is easy to see why past participants are eager to have their work judged year after year.

“Students are proud to have their work selected for this juried show,” says Parker. “Seeing your work … presented in a public space, in our Wilson neighborhood, is an honor.”

Not just an honor, but a glimpse into what life would be like as professional artists.

“The students learn about the different parts of getting ready for a show: They need to title their work, make gallery labels and learn how to professionally mat and frame their artwork,” Latham says.

All this time and effort results in an exhibit the students can be proud of.

“Students, parents and teachers look forward to this show every year,” says Parker. “Many students visit the bakery with their family and friends during the run of the exhibit.”

This annual exhibit is a treat for the greater Southwest community as well.

“This is the only student show the bakery sponsors,” Latham points out. “The work you see will be fresh and creative, and it will look great.”

For that reason, she says, “I encourage everyone to come in and see what the Wilson High art students are up to.”