This July, Sammamish unveiled its first public youth art exhibition. With over 20 pieces on display, the youth of Sammamish are showcasing their artistic talents.
Not An issue (NAi), Skyline High School’s literary and arts magazine, has collaborated with the Sammamish Youth Board (SYB) to bring together a summer art exhibition showcasing local teens’ art. Catherine Xue, an incoming senior at Skyline High School and one of the co-presidents of NAi, was driven to jumpstart this project by her passion for art and community.
Xue’s initial idea was to hold an art exhibition for her school in order to fulfill a school requirement, but she also wanted to make a larger impact by incorporating the whole community.
“We wanted it to be more than just a school related project, we wanted to share Sammamish’s creative culture and incorporate younger artists into it,” said Xue.
Xue reached out to SYB and together they were able to take the project to the next level.
Many Sammamish highschoolers were interested in the exhibition because it was open-ended, meaning it had no set theme, and had no entry fee, unlike many other art exhibitions.
“Not everyone’s art style is the same and [an open-ended exhibition] gives more creative freedom,” said Esther Fang, an incoming senior at Skyline High School.
Fang, like many other artists, was motivated to submit her work specifically because the exhibition was not limited by theme. Artists usually don’t have the time to create a whole new piece in a specific theme. With an open-ended event, Fang and other artists weren’t pressured to confine themselves.
“Many younger artists don’t get an opportunity to showcase their artwork,” so it’s really unique that so many were given a chance to display their work in a public setting.
Fang plans to pursue art in the future and appreciates the opportunity to share her work with the community.
Erika Lee, another incoming senior at Skyline, was encouraged by her friends to submit her digital photography art to the exhibit. She submitted a piece she created with the intent to capture different types of light. Even though technology has progressed so far and is able to create light, Lee hopes to convey how “people still feel like they don’t have enough time to get things done, staying up all night with the harsh electrical lights” through her art piece.
NAi and SYB selected the Sammamish Library for the exhibit because it is often busy and attracts visitors.
“Parents and kids came up to us while setting up the exhibit to ask more about who organized [it]” said Catherine Xue, “and everyone seemed surprised [by] how talented youth artists could be.”
The exhibition is on display and open to visitors until the end of August at the Sammamish Library.