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An exhibit that opened Nov. 14 at the calvART Gallery in Prince Frederick features paintings, photography and other artwork created by about 80 Calvert County students.

Work by Advanced Placement photography students from Northern High School and selected works from Mutual Elementary School students will be on display until Nov. 30 at the gallery.

The collaboration of showing student work began with a grant from the Arts Council of Calvert County, requested by Lauren Rozengota and Leila Rizzo, art teachers at Northern High. With the grant, high school students visited Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, in Charlottesville, Va., on Oct. 22. The field trip was a day for students to think creatively and use the scenery to inspire their work, Rozengota said.

Students submitted photography, drawings and paintings of the landscape, architecture and even unexpected moments.

Taylor Hawkins, 17, an AP photography student at Northern, captured a surprise marriage proposal that would have otherwise gone undocumented. Afterward, Hawkins, who plans to pursue photography after high school, met with the couple, who requested a copy of her picture.

“It made me excited that someone wanted my work,” Hawkins said. “That’s an important moment for them, and they’ll have that picture forever.”

“[The students] studied Monticello before they went,” Rozengota said of the students’ preparation. “[Their work is] all from the same place, but each student’s perspective is represented differently.”

Rozengota said displaying the artwork in a gallery validates the students’ creative efforts.

“Seeing your work here is a lot different than seeing it on the bulletin board in the cafeteria,” Rozengota said.

Each student submitted one piece of work for the exhibition. After Rozengota, Rizzo and other classmates provided feedback on the work, about 54 photographs and paintings filled an entire wall in the gallery.

Kelsey Breen, 17, a junior AP photography student at Northern, submitted a photograph of brightly colored flowers from Monticello. Rozengota said Breen received the most comments in the class about the color, composition and originality of the piece.

“Perfect for a portfolio,” Rozengota said to Breen.

For Finn Johannesen, 6, a first-grader at Mutual Elementary, he enjoyed showing his painting and following in his father Greg Johannesen’s footsteps.

As a local landscape painter, Greg Johannesen shows his work at Carmen’s Gallery in Solomons. He lectured Northern High art students before their field trip about what inspires him and his process as an artist.

His son Finn’s painting featured the word “green,” his favorite color, surrounded by different watercolors.

“I love his creativeness, and it’s nice to see him express himself that way,” Greg Johannesen said of his son. “I’m very proud of him.”

Beth Beighley, the art teacher at Mutual Elementary, said she chose work that provided the best example of the technique used, whether it was watercolor, drawing or painting. Beighley said the show was great for the younger students to see their work in a professional atmosphere.

“They see different age groups and their work among professionals,” Beighley said. “Their families come out and support them. It’s great encouragement.”

Rozengota said it was important for the younger students to see what their work could potentially turn into. The elementary school art hung on a wall facing the high school art.

Motioning to the elementary art across the room, Rozengota said, “[The high school students] have this because they had this.”

snewman@somdnews.com