By Katie Weitkamp/Managing editor

From African masks to CD cases, to ceramic shoes and a dress, the 2004 Bluegrass Regional High School Exhibition in the Giles Gallery offers creative and interesting pieces of art created in area high schools.The juried show opened Sunday and included an awards ceremony. Themes represented within the show include religion, beauty, conformity, relationships and the effects of war on society.

James Hertz’s “Self Portrait” shows himself amid a group of completely white people with the same face. In this colored-pencil drawing he peels the white outer face off, revealing his blue eyes and peach skin, creating a haunting contrast between he and the rest of the group.

Bruce Bohman, a Franklin County student, used paper and magazine clippings on wood to create a mosaic of an upset athlete after a disappointing season in “Fragments of a Broken Season.”

Also Bohman did an outstanding job with an oil painting entitled “Multiple Layers of Beauty,” in which he dissects portions of a woman’s face to show her beauty.

“The Sixth Deadly Sin,” by Chelsea Isaacs, a student at Dunbar High School, shows a woman choked by the happiness she finds in food.

One of the more interesting pieces features a picture of half a boy’s face imposed on top of a drawing of a lion, creating one face. The difference between the two isn’t very smooth in Sarah Cooper’s “Ryan Lion,” but the visual impact is very strong.

One of the brightest pieces, in contrast with the content, is “Peruvian Woman” by Callie Mills of Lafayette High School. The bright orange tones and the intense close-up can make the viewer feel uneasy.

Stanley Lee, a student at Whitley County High School, has two outstanding pieces. His “Creation” shows, through acrylic paint, his view on the connection between man and Creator. His shading in this piece, coupled with the bright scene, is a real eye-catcher.

Also Lee’s sculpture, “Slabstract,” made of clay slab and metal, has an intimidating quality that requires a long look and encourages dialogue.

Most of the photography in the show is not spectacular, but Kayla Carver’s “Horse Eye” does deserve a second look.

The walls are literally covered in art from high schools in the region. While it is nice to display lots of work, some of the pieces could have been eliminated, giving more space for the eye to rest.

The show runs through April 7. Hours at the Giles Gallery vary; call 622-8135 for times.

I give the 2004 Bluegrass Regional High School Exhibition four out of five palettes.

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