Last updated: March 09. 2013 11:38PM - 1674 Views
By - mbiebel@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6109

Kelsey Monahan, a 10th-grade student from Dallas, prefers mountain vacations yet painted an inviting beach scene.
Kelsey Monahan, a 10th-grade student from Dallas, prefers mountain vacations yet painted an inviting beach scene.
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If the artwork they created is any clue, 14-year-old Rachel Caudell from Tunkhannock likes dragons, 16-year-old Dana Capitano from Dallas enjoys classical ballet and 15-year-old Kelsey Monahan from Dallas is a big fan of the beach.

Is that all true?

Yes, Caudell said.

Yes, Capitano confirmed.

As for Monahan, well …

“I’ve only been to the shore one time,” she said.

Despite her preference for mountain vacations, Monahan painted a dune so realistic you can almost feel the sand between your toes. It’s on exhibit at the Luzerne County Community College’s Schulman Gallery, as part of the Suzanne Maria Rossetti Memorial Juried Art Exhibit for students in grades seven through 12.

“We always get between 700 and 800 to 1,000 entries,” said artist Sue Hand, who has organized the contest for the past 32 years to honor the “exuberance, love and faith” of Rossetti, who was tragically kidnapped and murdered in Arizona in 1981.

This year eight judges, all of them “Rossetti alumni,” spent hours winnowing the entries down to 275 winners of first, second, third and fourth place as well as honorable mentions in many categories.

“It made me so excited” to win a first-place ribbon, Monahan said. “I worked so hard on that piece, and all my hard work paid off.”

Walk through the gallery and you’ll see what hundreds of hours of hard work can accomplish.

Green of scale and with a glint in his eyes is Caudell’s “Cornelius,” which she describes as “a fierce but protective dragon.”

For another fantasy animal, considerMaegan Wrubel’s “Raspberry Milk,” a cow with a purple face and the suggestion of lots of milk jugs.

If you prefer realistic creatures, look at Katie Aldrich’s portrait of a gentle domestic cat or Kelsey Joyce’s “The Eyes Have It,” which appears to showcase the eyes of lion and lynx, tiger and leopard.

Then, just try to stop yourself from saying awwww when you see Steven Kirk’s photograph of a tiny kitten cradled in human hands and titled “New Life With Old Life.”

And, if you have a pet of your own, you’ll probably sigh with recognition when you see Morgan Gilhooley’s rendering in charcoal of how a little animal can get in the way as it tries to command your attention when you’re working.

Most of the art in the Rossetti exhibit is a painting or sketch, from Hannah Cross’ “Lights of China Town” to Kiera Brown’s “Mare Hair Days” portrait of a horse with a feather in its flowing mane to Timothy Nerozzi’s “I Am the Law,” a rendering that calls to mind Russell Crowe’s performance as Javert in “Les Miserables.”

But you’ll find three-dimensional work as well, and may find yourself marveling at the way Joelle Serafin used wire, fabric and yarn to represent a girl walking a dog, while Aloysha Ackerman built a “Wilderness Living” cabin, complete with a kettle over the miniature fire.

“I remember what I was like when I was their age,” Hand said. “These kids are over the top.”

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