Art students select unique paintings from STL Art Fair


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Connor Inman (11) and Abby Degeare (12) pose wit the art pieces they chose for the office.

OHS is home to many pieces of art. The main office is even adorned with spectacular paintings from professional artists. But it wasn’t anyone in the office who was behind the palette. 

Two OHS students, Abby Degeare (12) and Connor Inman (11), were given the chance to travel to and explore the STL Art Fair last fall. They received a budget of $1,500 from the fair to purchase a handful of artwork to put up for show. Half of the budget was designated towards art for OHS, and the other $750 was used for public display at the fair.

Before the two had set out accompanied by Mr. Tom Lutz, visual arts teacher at OHS, the students got together to do research regarding the artists and decide on their priorities. “I have never been before,” Inman explained. “It was interesting to experience the complex process of selling art.” 

The artwork in the main office showcases a few artists and the variety of style. There are five mixed media paintings from Sharon Spillar and one contemporary/abstract piece by Janina Tukarski Eliis on display at school. Degeare and Inman also picked two mixed media architectural paintings by Ginny Herzog for public display at the STL Art Fair. 

Because there were a handful of artists at the fair, the students communicated with one another about the style of art to showcase at OHS. The pieces had to embody the school as a whole, depict diversity and promote the school colors of black and gold. 

This was the first time OHS has been accepted into this process, but it might not be the last. The art department is going to apply for the grant again this spring, giving other students a chance to interact with the artists and experience negotiating and buying a piece of art. 

“I didn’t know a lot about this, so I was going in blind,” Lutz said. “Now that I know how it works, we will be able to accomplish more next time.”