High school students showcased their artistic talents in a variety of mediums at the annual student exhibition at the Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre Jan. 9.

The exhibition, entitled “SPACED OUT, featured works from 20 Grade 11 and 12 Haliburton Highlands Secondary School art students, all centred around the theme. The pieces were developed throughout classes and will be on display until Jan. 25.

Student Anabelle Craig said she had worries about her piece, ‘I am there,’ over the Christmas break but she is satisfied seeing how it turned out.

“I’m very proud. I’m quite pleased with what I accomplished,” Craig said. “It kind of warms my heart to see my work up and to see my friend’s work up.”

The annual exhibition has gone on for about 14 years now, art teacher Karen Gervais said. She said the students learn about working under deadlines, configuring an exhibition and conveying meaning to an audience.

“It’s an authentic kind of learning experience,” Gervais said. “They’re not just making the work for themselves. They’re thinking about the broader audience and the people that are going to see the work and the message they want to communicate.”

The artwork on display was varied, ranging from paintings to embroidery to metal and glasswork. Some pieces utilized the exhibition theme more literally to depict outer space, while others were more abstract, showing physical and emotional spaces.

“It’s a good theme because you can take it any way you want,” Craig said. “It was fun to just experiment.”

Gervais said the exhibition is a good chance for the public to see what is on the minds of youth.

“They should just come to see the way our youth is thinking and the really thought-provoking ideas they’re communicating through their work,” she said. “As well as some of the tremendous skill levels that these young artists have.”

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Joseph Quigley is a staff writer with The Highlander. Joseph is always digging hard for news stories and covers all the latest happenings in the County of Haliburton. He believes in the importance of local news, finding more to every story and listening to marginalized voices. When he’s not working on news, Joseph finds himself getting all-too engaged in social media and cheering on his favourite Toronto Maple Leafs.