Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery hosts PVPA Student Works, an exhibition of drawing, painting, fashion, and sculpture made by PVPA students during the 2016 Spring Semester.

These works explore a diverse array of themes, subjects, materials, and methods; unified by the ambition and vision of these young creatives. Hope and Feathers and PVPA are proud to showcase this selection of emerging valley artists. A portion of every sale will benefit PVPA.

Exhibiting students include: Justice Alexander, Berry Auclair, Jaz Blain, Claire Bennet, Alex Chase, Claire Conklin, Brigit Ferry, Devon Franz, Nora Harris, Lauren LeCours, Bridget MacNeill, Emma Odell, Alex Robles.

About PVPA:

The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA) offers its students a broad range of media and modalities to grow as artists and designers. PVPA seeks to help it’s students develop understandings of the principles of art and design that span all visual media and explore the point where visual arts intersects and interacts with performance. Students work in traditional fine art media including as drawing and painting, sculpture and digital artwork as well as a host of theatrical applications like costuming, mask making, scenic design, construction and painting as well as lighting design.

PVPA was founded in 1996 and is comprised of 400 Students grades 7-12 from over 60 towns throughout the Pioneer Valley. Many alumni have pursued arts education and careers in the arts beyond their time at PVPA. www.pvpa.org

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 5, in conjunction with Amherst Art Walk, from 5pm to 8pm. An artists’ reception will follow on Saturday, May 7, from 4:30pm to 7pm.

Images: details from, “Untitled,” by Lauren LeCours; “Owl,” by Devon Franz; “Sue,” by Bridget MacNeill

Artist Statements

Justice Love Alexander
I’m a 7th grade student at PVPA. I enjoy traveling to large cities and visiting art museums. My home is filled in work created with many mediums from gluestick to glue gun, from tempera to oil, and everything in between. I have worked with collage, diorama, and fabric arts. This was my first experience using pencil. I liked working on the detail and spending my time lost in the art. Normally my usual medium is music so this is out of my comfort zone but I enjoyed the process and hope to learn more in the future.    

Meghan Auclair
Although I often go by the name Berry as well. I’m from the small town of Monson. My favorite media to work in would probably be pencil, but I usually use acrylic paints when doing more finished pieces. I do not have any specific plans for my future as an artist at this point. Though I do hope to use paint more often, and to keep improving my skills until I am able to find a style of my own that I can feel proud of.

Claire Bennet
I am a seventh-grader. I’m a theater-kid-turned-artist because of my drawing class. I never really was the drawing type, but because of this class I’ve developed a new interest in visual arts. The most interesting medium to me is watercolor, but I usually work in pencil/pen and I dabble in graphic design. Most of the ‘finished pieces’ I’ve ever done were projects for class, and I’ve started to take an interest in precise drawings using straight lines and perfect angles, but the thing I’ve always been most interested in is drawing people – people in different positions, wearing different clothes and making different facial expressions. I hope to continue learning about and experimenting with different mediums in visual art over my high school years.

Jaz Blain
I am a senior at PVPA and live in Leverett. I like creating all kinds of visual media using whatever I can get my hands on; but if I had to pick some favorite mediums I’d say clay, spontaneous doodling, and makeup. Acting is another passion of mine which has served as a guide for much of my visual work since most of my visual endeavors have been geared towards the realm of theatre creation. I have been so unbelievably fortunate to have been able to have gone to a school that has given me the opportunity to engage with and learn about all the things that I am passionate about in all the ways that I am passionate about them. I look forward to continue to build upon the invaluable base PVPA has laid for me as I work towards a BFA in Acting at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, while also continuing to pursue the visual arts in an effort to cultivate new innovations in how theatre is created.

Alex Chase
I am a freshman at PVPA, and I’m from Greenfield. I’ve enjoyed painting and drawing as long as I can remember, but last year I took a mixed media class and fell in love with it. The contrast of the flowers and the corpselike woman in this piece is similar to the balance of life and death, and I was inspired by the word Chiaroscuro; the contrast of light and dark, which is why this piece is titled as such.

Claire Conklin
I am a seventh grade student at PVPA and I live in the town of Conway. My town is small but has a lot of woods making it good for photography. I like to ride horses around the woods and compete sometimes. I live with my family(s) and animals. I ride a lot too and this is why I have a picture of a horse’s eye. I like to draw and take pictures also. I like to draw what see. The pictures I take are usually around my home or where i go with my family. I have a lot of family and everyone is really spread out so where I go, the camera goes.

Brigit Ferry
I am a Senior and an aspiring fashion designer. I have been designing clothes since elementary school, and have been sewing my garments since 7th grade during my first year at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public school. My love for fashion has developed over the years, as I familiarised myself with fabrics and designers. My study of the fashion world is just beginning, but my love for finding and creating beauty has existed for as long as I can remember. Exterior beauty has just become a medium for the inner beauty embedded in my models, nature, and experiences with an attached aesthetic. I will develop my skills as an artist at Savannah College of Art and Design in the fall. I hope to produce a desired style others can appreciate and feel confident wearing, my ambition is to make the clothing and the people, feel equally exquisite.  

Devon Franz
I’m a seventeen year old junior from Chicopee and I like to make art. I’ve been drawing ever since I was little, like most kids really, I just stuck with it though. Right now I like to use lots of different media, I like experimenting and trying new things. I’d say I’m most comfortable with black and white ink work although, I’ve been trying to use more color. At the time of writing this I have done a daily drawing for 491 consecutive days, the day of the artist reception is day 500! I plan on continuing to make art forever in some way, whether it be as a job, hobby, or just a passion.

Nora Harris
I am a 12-year-old 7th grader at PVPA. I live in Amherst. I am studying Mixed Media. I enjoy this class where I created this piece, using different materials. In my picture, I used watercolors (the splatter paint), pen, colored pencil (the.colored in-between spaces), and the anatomical figure. Outside of school, I love to take pictures of anything and everything with my camera.

Lauren LeCours
I am a seventh grader at PVPA. I chose to go to PVPA because I have a large amount of interest in art, and I thought the school would help me grow as an artist, and my assumption was right! I have learned different painting techniques, ways to collage, how to use ink, and much, much, more! I wish for my future in art to make a profit through my various types of art by starting a business! I’m so excited to learn more techniques so in the future so I become a well developed artist!

Bridget MacNeill
I am a Junior from Northampton. Attending PVPA has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my life. Encountering inspired artists every day, I am always excited to see the mix of arts that occurs at our school. I have been particularly interested in working with different mediums such as ink, water color, pen, and metal. I hope to continue expanding the range of materials I work with. For now I aspire to continue using art as an ultimate catharsis and build my portfolio to apply to colleges in the fall.

Emma Odell
I am a Junior  from South Hadley, and I focus in photography. I also draw, paint, and do tech theater! I typically work digitally, but I would love to explore film as well. I’m hoping to major in photography in college, and my top choice for school is Pratt Institute. I hope to keep learning about art, and to discover what I can bring to the field.

Alex Robles
I am a Senior from Springfield. Over my years at PVPA I have worked a great deal in Technical Theater as well as 3D sculptural work