Local students have 'Grand Designs'

December 26, 1997


Staff Writer

Two works of art from Washington County high school students are on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art as part of an exhibition from one of the most influential museums in the world.

Notes from Leonardo da Vinci and important furniture by Thomas Chippendale are among 250 exceptional works of art on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

The items make up "A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum," a London museum founded 145 years ago to inspire designers and promote artistic excellence.


The museum and its collections have had profound impact on museums throughout Europe and the United States.

Students also are being encouraged to participate in the exhibition through a project known as the "The Grand Challenge."

Through the project, students are encouraged to produce their best artwork, which will be judged at the Baltimore museum on Jan. 8.

Students producing the best piece will win a expenses-paid trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Two art classes from South Hagerstown High School and Smithsburg High School have entered artwork in the competition.

In Fay Wastler's art class at South Hagerstown, students took a coffee table they found at the Union Rescue Mission and transformed it into a story about Hagerstown's transportation industry.

On top of the table are 12 pieces of tile, each containing a picture of a type of transportation made in Hagerstown. The images show old Crawford and Pope cars once made in town, Fairchild aircraft and Western Maryland train cars.

"They painted it beautifully. It was exquisite," said Wastler.

Students in Ragan Rodgers' art class at Smithsburg High gave an ecology lesson with their creation. The students created a 22-inch tall image of a man walking with a child.

The man is holding up the planet Earth, and the child is walking behind him picking up pieces that are falling off the sphere, which symbolizes environmental breakdown, said Rodgers.

"The things that were created were incredible as far as imagination," said Stacey Shelnut, assistant director for the education and community department of The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Schools across the state were invited to participate in the contest. The student works are on the lower level of the museum and the art of the Victoria and Albert Museum collection are on the main floor, Shelnut said.

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