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HHS Students’ Artwork Selected for Regional Exhibition

Three Hastings High School students have had their works selected for a regional exhibition.

The artwork of seniors Caleb Painter, Cayla Ossen-Gutnick, and Lyla Normand will appear in the regional high school exhibition at the OSilas Gallery at Concordia College. The students were encouraged by advanced placement art teachers to submit their art for consideration in the virtual exhibition.

Art Work Ossen-Gutnick, who submitted a black and white photo said she didn’t expect it to be chosen.

“It was really nice to get some good news,” she said.

The photo was taken on a train to Peruvian city Aguas Calientes during a family trip, Ossen-Gutnick who has practiced photography since she was seven years old said she snapped the shot on the way to Machu Picchu.

“Some compartments had skylights so you’re taking this train ride looking up at the Andes Mountains and it's absolutely gorgeous,” she said. “I told my brother to pose like he was in an edgy music video and it came out really nice.”

Normand was also “pleasantly surprised” to have her watercolor work selected. She was able to draw inspiration from her interest in mythology to render a “Yōkai”, a monster from Japanese folklore.

“I really love all kinds of mythology,” she said. “I like Japanese and Chinese mythology in particular because all of their monsters are weirdly specific and interesting.”

Taking art courses since sixth grade, Normand has been able to enhance her skills at Hastings with AP art classes. Though being recognized for her work has been a dream, Normand said the idea behind the painting wasn’t from a dream at all.

“I had lots of nightmares about this creature when I was very small,” she said. “So, I decided to draw it and it's kind of weird now that I think about it.”

Painter’s colored pencil and collage piece came from an assignment in which he was asked to combine domestic scenes with nature. He said his work was inspired by what he was experiencing at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve been inside a lot of the time,” he said. “So, I focused on a scene at my desk and computer where I spend most of my days and added a collage of flowers behind it.”

Though he has taken art classes throughout his life, Painter said he first started taking serious art courses at Hastings High School.

 Though it was Normand and Painter’s first time being selected for their artwork, Ossen-Gutnick’s photography has been chosen through National Geographic to appear in President-elect Joe Biden’s home when he was then vice president.

Although all three seniors plan to take art electives in college, they do not plan to major in art.

“I don't think I'd pursue it professionally but it's always going to be my number one hobby,” said Normand.

“I’d like to keep it up in college,” added Painter.

Ossen-Gutnick who vowed to take her camera with her to college said her only goal is to not forget her camera’s battery and miss out on a good shot.

“That’s happened to me too many times,” she said.

View the exhibition from January 21st to February 4th here."