Lily Zustiak takes a photo of Chandell Schoonover in front of “Consent,” the work of art Schoonover submitted to the show “Art with a Message,” at the Bayview Cash Store Hub gallery.
                                Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Lily Zustiak takes a photo of Chandell Schoonover in front of “Consent,” the work of art Schoonover submitted to the show “Art with a Message,” at the Bayview Cash Store Hub gallery. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

‘Art with a Message’

Students worldview a kaleidoscope of visions

Just how do teenagers view the world they live in?

Julie Glover believes many adults ponder such a question but few bother to ask it.

So she decided to find out for them.

With help from the nonprofit organization, Goosefoot, she put out a call to all of Whidbey’s high schools for a student art show and competition.

On display until June 11 at the Hub gallery in Bayview’s Cash Store, this year’s exhibit is called “Art with a Message: Teens’ responses to the world around them.” It’s the third year for the all-island student art exhibit.

More than 60 pieces of visual arts and poetry were submitted, twice as many submissions as previous years. All of Whidbey’s high schools participated — Oak Harbor, Coupeville, South Whidbey and South Whidbey Academy.

However, high schools are not listed on the artwork label as a way to avoid any preconceived notions or stereotypes, organizers said.

“We are especially pleased with the representation from Coupeville and Oak Harbor this year,” said Marian A. Myszkowski, director of program and fund development for Goosefoot.

Art teachers encouraged students to submit work and some used the show as part of a graded project.

“Anytime you can get the students and community together expressing and talking about art, I’m all for it,” said Sam Mirkovich, South Whidbey High School art teacher.

Themes in 2016 and 2017 were climate change and social justice, respectively, and they coincided with Whidbey Earth and Ocean Month, Myszkowski said. She describes Glover as “the brains and brawn” behind the yearly teen exhibits.

Glover, a Langley resident known for her activism on behalf of youth, said she opted for a more open-ended approach this time around. In her view, the exhibit opens up a dialogue between generations.

“Teenagers need to know adults give a damn about what they think,” Glover said. “So I thought the show could reveal what do teens want adults to know about what is bothering them? Or what excites them, makes them happy?”

Concerns jump out from paintings, collages, sketches, metal and ceramic works, photographs and poetry.

Will there be any fish left in the sea? Bees left buzzing?

Guns, will they ever stop killing us? Equality, will it ever be more than a dream?

More light-hearted commentary is found in images of bananas, family, friends and farm life.

“I’m surprised at how wide ranging the themes are,” Myszkowski commented as she strolled the two floors of art.

“Body image, environmental devastation, gun violence, family ties and women’s issues, those are topics most repeated.”

Thursday, Coupeville ninth-grader Chandell Schoonover stopped in the Cash Store with her best friend, Lily Zustiak.

“Look, there it is,” she screeched in delight upon seeing “Consent” in the corner of the first floor. “I can’t believe it!”

Zustiak quickly clicked away on her cell phone as Schoonover excitedly explained how her first public piece of art came to be.

“My Coupeville art teacher, Tacy Bigelow, told us there was an art exhibit that sought the student voice.

“She said to take something that really matters to us, whether it be policy or problems in the world.”

Using three black-and-white photographs displayed on a square of rusted metal, Schoonover’s message about unwanted sexual advantages is powerful, poignant and potent.

“Substances don’t give consent.

Alcohol doesn’t give consent. Whatever we’re wearing doesn’t give consent. Silence doesn’t give consent.

“That’s the message I wanted it to say about sexual assault,” explained Schoonover, who just turned 15.

“I used rusted metal because this is such a big issue that’s just sat there for a long time and it just sits there and rusts over.”

Art with a Message: Teens’ responses to the world around them” is on display at Bayview Corner Cash Store Hub gallery until June 11.

“Consent” by Chandell Schoonover

“Consent” by Chandell Schoonover

“Gun Reform” by Ainsley Nelson

“Gun Reform” by Ainsley Nelson

“Salam” by Melissa Culver

“Salam” by Melissa Culver

“Save the Fishes” by Genna Wright

“Save the Fishes” by Genna Wright

“Our Massacre of Nature” by Willow Vick

“Our Massacre of Nature” by Willow Vick

“The Lonely” by Kaley Grigsby

“The Lonely” by Kaley Grigsby

Marian Myszkowski, program and fund director of Goosefoot, looks over some of the pieces hanging on both floors of the Hub gallery in the Bayview Cash Store. The show is up until June 11. Photos by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Marian Myszkowski, program and fund director of Goosefoot, looks over some of the pieces hanging on both floors of the Hub gallery in the Bayview Cash Store. The show is up until June 11. Photos by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

“Skate or Die” by Anthony Murtha

“Skate or Die” by Anthony Murtha

“Exhaustion” by James Conlisk

“Exhaustion” by James Conlisk

“A Year Without Bees” by Maggie Crimmins

“A Year Without Bees” by Maggie Crimmins

“Statement” by MacKenzie Taft

“Statement” by MacKenzie Taft

“You Don’t Know Me” by Bronwyn Schmidt

“You Don’t Know Me” by Bronwyn Schmidt

“For the Women” by Jasmine Wu

“For the Women” by Jasmine Wu

“Love Yourself” by Mickey Kestle

“Love Yourself” by Mickey Kestle

“Banana” by Sophie Hamer

“Banana” by Sophie Hamer

More in Life

Congolese Festival is a chance to celebrate, educate

Last event before Northwest Cultural Center relocates

Mucking about for clams

‘Digging for Dinner’ a popular Sound Water activity

Scorch is a play about gender identification showing at Outcast’s black box theater on the Island County fairgrounds June 13-17. It’s a one-person play, performed by Carmen Berkeley. Director and co-producer Ty Molbak went to middle school in Langley was was active in Whidbey Children’s Theater. Both will be seniors at Rutgers University in the fall. One scene in the play “Scorch” portrays the main character looking into mirrors and wondering what others see.
‘Scorch’ looks at first love and ‘gender fraud’

Irish play revolves around one character’s confusion

Whidbey Island Garden Tour highlights five homes

Tickets still available for Saturday event

Jordan Shelley, 18, stands outside his home in Greenbank. He recently received the Sydney S. McIntyre Jr Scholarship from Skagit Valley College to go toward his tuition at the University of Washington. Shelley will pursue his childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
SVC grad earns full 2-year scholarship to UW

A lot has changed since Jordan Shelley was 7 years old and… Continue reading

Couple creates Whidbey’s first commercial cidery

Driftwood Hard Cider taps into growing market

‘Slowgirl’ explores the human condition in intimate setting

Even with significant professional credentials, the latest offering from Whidbey’s Outcast Theatre… Continue reading

Homegrown ‘Frijole Friday’

Fundraiser features student crops, cooking

Scott Swenson, a National Park Service carpenter, puts the final pieces in on a ramp on the newly restored Pratt Sheep Barn. The 1930s barn will serve as a classroom one it officially opens in July. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
Historic sheep barn repurposed

Tucked away on the Pratt Loop Trail, a formerly dilapidated 1930s sheep… Continue reading

‘Art with a Message’

Students worldview a kaleidoscope of visions

Hometown Hero: Lewis Pope

Once every year a South Whidbey senior is chosen by the South… Continue reading

Shhh…it’s a surprise party for old-timer Bill Lanning

Friends, customers invited to celebrate former owner of Bill’s Feed Tack