By Jesse Bertel

A celebration of budding artistic talent is currently on display at the 2024 Young Artist Showcase, spotlighting the creativity of high school students from across Arizona. The exhibit runs through Friday, March 29, at the Yavapai College (YC) Prescott Campus Art Gallery, 1100 E. Sheldon St.

The Young Artist Showcase promises to offer a diverse array of artistic expressions, ranging from traditional paintings to innovative digital creations. Curated by YC’s graphic design instructor, Lindsay Masten, the exhibit aims to provide a platform for emerging artists to share their visions and perspectives.

“One of the things that is most effective in art is when it’s expressive,” Masten said. “Art is formally understood to be an expression and that’s one of the things that’s very hard for young people. You’re really putting yourself out there. So many of these pieces by these high school students we’re just very open and honest.”

Eighty pieces selected for display represent the finest work from nine Arizona high schools, including Basis Scottsdale, Bradshaw Mountain, Chino Valley, Desert Mountain, Mayer, The Orme School, Pinnacle, Prescott High School and Tri-City Prep.

“With a show this large, what I always do is go through multiple passes through all of the work,” Masten said. “If there’s any kind of indicator in the materiality or in note about what the intention was, I’m looking for that and looking for how effective the piece is in terms of getting that across. So, that’s my first criteria, and then after that, I’m looking for technical skill. Technical skill is going to vary from medium to medium.”

Masten, tasked with narrowing down over 220 submissions from Yavapai and Maricopa counties, noted the surprising abundance of 3D pieces and applauded the artists’ courage in exploring complex themes. “This year’s show got quite a few more 3D submissions than is typical,” Masten said. “I appreciated seeing a lot of ceramics and lot of students clearly taking ideas, you know, things that they’ve seen in other places and then applying them.”

An Opening Reception for the Young Artist Showcase is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 8. Award-winning pieces will be announced by Masten at 6 p.m. during the reception. The exhibition will remain on display through Friday, March 29.

Art enthusiasts are encouraged to visit the Yavapai College Prescott Art Gallery located in the Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center on the Yavapai College Prescott Campus, 1100 E. Sheldon St. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and admission is free. For more information, call 928-776-2031, or visit www.yc.visualarts.com.

Yavapai College, known for its commitment to education and cultural enrichment, operates six campuses and centers throughout Yavapai County, offering a wide range of academic programs and community services. To learn more about Yavapai College, visit www.yc.edu.

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