The Written in the Stars exhibit features a collection of art selected by local teens related to questions about the function, nature and origins of the cosmos, the great unknown. Local teens curated this exhibit as part of a library art education and mentoring program, Curate This! The exhibit will be on display in the Sabatini Gallery from May 5 – July 14.
In the beginning, we had words, and we strung them together to explain the explainable. We looked up at the great, black expanse of the night and marveled at the miraculous and mysterious points of light. We wondered what they were and how they got stuck there. We wondered if they were bigger than us and if they thought about us, too.
In addition to pieces from the library’s permanent collection, the following area high school students have work on display in the exhibit:
Maya Beyer, Topeka High School
- Kyla Bryant, Seaman High School
- Milo Chatham, Jefferson West High School
- Lily Greene, Cair Paravel Latin School
- Ellia Morse, Cair Paravel Latin School
- Emma Nassari, Cair Paravel Latin School
- Devin Ross, Jefferson West High School
- Maelin Turner, Jefferson West High School
The Curate This! Process
This annual program brings teens together from area high schools to curate an exhibit. Participants begin by deciding on a theme or main idea. Then the teen curators put out a call for art from high school artists and select pieces that help tell their story best. They complete the exhibit by selecting artworks in the Sabatini Gallery permanent collection (things the library owns).
The guest curators research our records and use the library resources to create text for the exhibit, which includes information for the artwork labels. They also write a curatorial statement that explains the story or idea the exhibit is organized around.
Teen curators learn to mat and frame artworks as needed. Deciding where each of the pieces and text will be placed is an important part of the layout process. Finally, the teen curators hang the artworks with careful measuring and leveling, and arrange the cases.
Meet the Teen Curators
Amelia Fager, Washburn Rural High School
I’ve been practicing art for about 6 years. My passion for art has turned into a strong interest in architecture. So much, in fact that the inspiration for most of my work is the different aspects of various architectural structures. Throughout most of my pieces I always try to incorporate the most interesting and unique features of a certain structure. In my AP Art class, my teacher encouraged me to incorporate different aspects of architecture into different media.
Ellia Morse, Cair Paravel Latin School
I am currently a high school junior. I enjoy reading memoirs and science fiction, designing art pieces, and— in what little free time I have— taking walks through the woods with my two dogs. I plan on studying computer science while continuing to develop my art skills. I believe that art and science are not mutually exclusive.
Emma Nassari, Cair Paravel Latin School
I am currently a high school junior. I love mint chocolate chip ice cream, hanging out with my dog, and how streetlights look kind of blurred and wiggly on rainy days. My passions include drawing, writing and ballet as they are all forms of art that reflect the beauty of God’s creation. Art is anything that points to truth, goodness or beauty. I aim to pursue these things in everything I do. My secondary objectives include sleeping in and playing Minecraft at every available opportunity. I am a devoted library-goer and have participated in the library’s NaNoWriMo and Teen Steam programs. I am excited to add Curate This to the list!
Jay Ram, Washburn Rural High School
I am a high school junior. In my free time I likes to read books, play chess and run. I also enjoy computer programming and graphic design.
Kaitlynn Ray, Washburn Rural High School
I’ve been interested in art for most of my life. However, it was not until last year that I began exploring my talents. I discovered my passion for ceramics and made several mugs that captured people’s attention (Steve Harvey and Bob Ross mugs). One of my favorite things about making art is seeing the reaction on peoples faces, especially if I make something out of the ordinary that surprises them. I hope my passion for art will never leave me.
Kyla Bryant, Seaman High School
I am a high school freshman. I am active in a variety of clubs including writing club and several art club activities. I have been an artist as long as I can remember and actively strive to go into a professional field based in art. Already I am reaching out and learning as much as I can about different jobs and opportunities. I work as photographers assistant for J Thomas Photography.
Maya Beyer, Topeka High School
I am a sophomore in high school, a visual artist and a writer. I have a passion for colors – I am usually wearing many of them. When I paint I try to fit as many colors as possible into my composition. My favorite classes in school are English, creative writing, biology, psychology, painting and ceramics. I’ve lived in Topeka all my life and the library has always been one of my favorite places! I enjoy keeping myself busy and inspired with things like theater, after-school clubs, volunteering, reading, and endless arts and crafts projects. This is my second time on the Curate This! team. Last year I helped curate the Ears and Eyes show. Learning the art of gallery curation as a high school student has been a truly amazing opportunity!
Zoe Burkholder, Washburn Rural High School
I have been interested in the surreal, existential and color theory since taking my first painting class in high school. Art history classes further inspired my interest in the creation of art. Portraits and people in general are very prevalent in my artwork. A story can always be told in a subject’s disposition, especially in the eyes of the subject. I draw inspiration from artists like Magritte and Dali. In color theory I draw inspiration from contemporary graphic art. Much of my work includes 2D drawing elements with a minimalist and rhythmic sense of design. My traditional art tends to include short excerpts of prose to aid the viewer in analyzing the work and highlight a certain mood the work is meant to portray. My work is usually surreal in some way. Much of my artistic process is influenced by my introspection of my emotions and the world around me.