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Art and Business Combine for the Good of the Gulf

An art exhibit by local high school students runs through the end of September at the Hamilton-Wenham Library.

Angela Zhang responded to this summer's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with inspired action.

The president of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School Business Club needed an activity that would require the members to explore new business concepts, enhance the students' skills by giving them new insight into the business world and contribute to the community.

One need could provide for the other for the Business Club.

"So I proposed the club organize a student art show and host a silent auction to sell the art to raise money to support the spill's clean-up efforts," said Zhang.

With the club's ready approval, Zhang and the club's Vice President Emma Sander rallied members Jack Huang, Katelyn Goodyear, Chris Anderson and Daniel DePaolis and got the show off the ground.

"It turned out to be a lot more work than I expected," said Zhang when asked about what she and the others learned in producing the show. "We learned about how to work with people in a group, how to motivate people, even in the summer."

Goodyear, a participating artist and Business Club member, said she was pleased to learn that her art is worth something to someone else.

"When I was asked to be in the show it shocked me," she said.

In all, the show displays 35 pieces of artwork by nine student artists. The works include photographs by Zhang, John Clark and Emma Sandler as well as pieces done in a variety of media including collage, colored pencil and gauche.

Titled "Seeing Beauty: An Exploration of the Aesthetics of Beauty, Expressed Through the Lens of a Photographer and the Pencil of an Artist," the show invites the artists to explore the meaning of beauty.

In a piece called "Check Out My Curly Hair," Goodyear playfully expresses beauty in the portrait of an imagined young woman drawn in ink. Through the lens of Clark's camera, beauty is a bicycle mounded with snow.

Natalie Kassirer's colored pencil drawing of a close-up view of a girl applying eyeliner pokes some fun at the cosmetic enhancement of beauty. With a keen eye and competent hand, Galiya Kolnsberg captures the beauty of Versailles in a pencil drawing.

"Due to school procedural complications, we are unable to host the silent auction, but potential buyers may contact the artists directly if they wish to purchase the artwork," said Zhang.

The show, which opened on Aug. 19, is on display until Sept. 30  in the Young Adults section of the Hamilton-Wenham Library.

After all the interest and enthusiasm the show has generated, the Business Club hopes to continue the show and expand it to include artists from other schools and the public.

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