High schoolers display, sell artwork

It’s not unusual to find artwork from South Broward High School students on display at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood.

Most recently, students in the Bulldogs’ National Art Honor Society had more than 40 pieces, including decorated masks, on display in the “UnMasqued” exhibit.

While many patrons there focus on work from professional artists, the Hollywood school’s exhibit drew interest. Four students were approached about selling their paintings and drawings.

“This gave them a huge boost of confidence about their artistic abilities and promise for artistic greatness,” said South Broward art teacher Susan Ostheim. “The students and I have been on an emotional roller coaster over this issue of selling artworks.”

The school’s display is part of an ongoing program at the center.

“[This is] a totally free program to the school,” said Jordan Canal, education coordinator. “We always talk to our patrons a lot when they visit and encourage them to really take a look at the student work.”

Canal said a purchase process was developed last year after a patron wanted to buy a student’s artwork. After negotiating a price, the center receives 10 percent of the profit to help fund the education program.

In three exhibitions this year, a total of eight works have or will be sold by students from South Broward High, Pembroke Pines Elementary and Pine Crest School.

“We’re just so proud that we’re able to help with that confidence and professionalism [in the students],” Canal said. “These students get to display their work next to up-and-coming or already famous artists. It’s a great opportunity to see what the youth in this community are capable of.”

For the South Broward students, the final sale will not be complete until August. Students need the work for their portfolios as part of its involvement as a Cambridge International School. Ostheim said each artist needs two portfolios equaling 12 pages of artwork. The portfolios are sent to Cambridge University in England as part of course requirements. With a passing grade, the students earn college credits and points toward a Cambridge diploma.

“To our great surprise, the patron was even more excited about purchasing these art pieces,” Ostheim said. “This is our first year with Cambridge, [and] the patron did not know he was choosing Cambridge student work. The fact that the patron is a former Cambridge professor is even more interesting and says something about collegiate connections that the students need to be aware of.”

Sara Shell can be reached at sshell@tribune.com.

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