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Grand welcomes December Artists of the Month

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt The Grand’s latest Artists of the Month: Avarie Leshovsky, Darien Jones, Taryn Leshovsky and Sophie Berger stand next to their pieces which will be featured at the Grand through December.

NEW ULM — The Grand Center of the Arts held a welcoming reception of its December Artists of the Month.

Each month, the Grand celebrates local artists in New Ulm schools. This month featured the work of four local students Avarie Leshovsky, Taryn Leshovsky, Darien Jones and Sophia Berger.

Avarie Leshovsky, 10, is a 4th Grader from St. Anthony Elementary. Her art piece was a colored pencil drawing of three cats. Lshovsky said drawing is her favorite form of art. Cats are among her favorite subject. Her family has many cats adopted as strays. The three cats in her drawing were not based on a specific cat. Avarie said she usually draws whatever comes to her mind. The greatest challenge of her work was drawing the cat’s ears and paws just right.

Taryn Leshovsky, 15, is a freshman at Cathedral High School. Taryn has created art in a variety of styles, but like her sister, Avarie prefers drawing. Her piece a mixed media drawing that uses pencil, watercolors and oil paints. The piece depicts a woman’s face that has been partially shattered as if she were made of porcelain. Taryn did not name the piece but said the best title for it would be “Shattered.” The feeling of being broken up was what she tried to convey with the piece.

Darien Jones, 16, is a sophomore at New Ulm High School. His piece was a photo-realistic color pencil sketch of the PlayStation 3 gaming system. Jones explained he created the piece of an art class at school. The idea was to create a photo-realistic image using a grid system. He chose the PlayStation 3 as a subject because he thought it looked interesting, but he is also a fan of the video game system. Jones completed the drawing on the 15th anniversary of the gaming system’s release. Jones said the greatest challenge in creating the drawing was lettering. He said there were many small details there were hard to get right with pencil and mistakes were difficult to erase.

Sophia Berger, 13, is an 8th grader at New Ulm Middle School. Her piece was two octopi figurines modeled out of polymer clay. The initial inspiration to create the figurines came from her sister who was doing an aquarium model. She decided to create two octopi to match the aquarium. The octopi are designed after the Giant Pacific Octopus. Berger consulted images of the octopus to get the details correct. Each arm contains individual suction cups. Berger said the greatest challenge was keeping the arms attached. She used tinfoil to hold the tentacles in place until the clay had hardened in place.

The Grand will continue to highlight new students artists. Program Manager for the Grand, Tamara Furth, said the idea of the program was to show youth art in the community because it is not often seen. Student-athletes can show their talents, but this is an opportunity to show artistic talent.

The next artists of the month will premier their works in February.

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