A peek inside young minds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – Within the Visually Talented Arts Program at East St. John High School may very well be lurking the next Picasso, Rembrandt or Van Gogh. Or at least that seemed the case based on the annual art show held in the school’s library Thursday.

With the theme “Art Around the World,” the usually drab stacks were livened up with paintings, sketches and sculptures created by the budding artists.

“We like the community to see what our kids are doing,” said VTAP teacher Carol Jane Myers.

The work of VTAP seniors is featured most prominently in the show, and probably the brightest star among them is Terri Scott.

Scott was recently awarded a scholarship to attend the Memphis College of Art. “It’s my dream school,” said Scott, who has only been taking serious art classes since she began high school.

Scott said she takes inspiration from a wide range of artists, most notably Salvador Dali. “But mine are a little more peaceful,” she noted.

Scott went on to say she would some day like to open her own gallery in the French Quarter although she admitted she’d be happy just to sell her artwork in Jackson Square. There is one thing she will have to get over before making that leap, however. “I get too attached to my paintings,” she said.

Some of Scott’s younger cohorts show an equal passion for their work.

Sophomore Sarah Lewis was humble when it came to discussing her own work, but her mother gushed about her daughter’s obvious talent.

“I’m so elated because she’s just so talented,” said Acquanette Lewis. “The next couple of years we’ll work with her so she improves on every level.”

The work of students taking the regular-track art classes was also on display. Teacher Patricia McGehee said seniors taking Art II this semester worked on self-portraits, and Lee Tamplain took top honors at the show.

The library is not the only place to see the work of these talented young adults, however. Some of their work is on display at the St. John Animal Shelter, and after spring break holidays the students will install a collection of New Orleans-themed works at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve.

“We try to do things to help the community as well as personal art,” said Myers.