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Students in Melissa Grissom’s art classes at RHS work with mirror for a self-portrait project that is currently displayed at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art in Tuscumbia.
Students in Melissa Grissom’s art classes at RHS work with mirror for a self-portrait project that is currently displayed at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art in Tuscumbia.

Archived Story

Students’ art displayed at TVMA

Published 5:11pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thanks to a collaboration between Russellville High School and the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, several RHS art students currently have work on display at the museum, which is currently hosting the Art of the State exhibition.

The TVMA has an education outreach team that works with area schools to create student exhibitions throughout the school year that correlate with the museum’s current professional art exhibitions.

Art of the State is the third biennial exhibition of works by studio art faculty from Alabama’s colleges and universities. This juried show has 37 works by 25 artists from 13 colleges and universities throughout the state. It runs January 19 – March 7.

Students in Melissa Grissom’s art classes at RHS participated in the project, which began with a brief survey of the history of portraiture from the early Greeks and Egyptians to the 20th and 21st centuries, looking at Leonardo and Michelangelo, Holbein, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso, Warhol and Chuck Close.

Students then reviewed the elements of art and the principles of design. All elements: line, shape, color, space, pattern, balance, dominance and unity were used in the model for the playing card portrait project.

Next the students practiced drawing self portraits using the Greek and Roman system of guidelines.  Careful observation was encouraged as the students used hand mirrors to draw their faces and features.  The elements of line and shape were emphasized.

A rough draft of the portrait was completed next. Students folded the larger piece of paper in half and drew a portrait on the top half of one side, then folded the paper in half and rubbed the back of that portrait with a pencil to transfer the image to the other side.

After drawing the features, neck and exaggerated shoulder lines on both sides of the portrait, the students drew large letters in the corners, similar to the playing card model. Then a hand was drawn on each of the opposite sides holding an object that fit the theme of their portrait.

A variety of large, overlapping images were then drawn on each side of the portrait to indicate two sides of the interests of the student: a day side and a night side, an indoor side and an outdoor side, a sports side and an artistic side.

Finally, the rough draft was transferred to a final piece of art paper.  Lines were retraced with a black sharpie marker and then solid color was applied with colored pencils. As you can see the multi-part art process yielded wonderfully artistic results.

This special exhibition by RHS students is located at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, at 511 North Water Street in Tuscumbia. Museum Hours are Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and admission is free on Sunday.

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