Just before classes concluded for the semester, Tullahoma High School freshman Arianna Marin received some exciting news. Late last week, Arianna learned that her artwork had been selected to be part of the 14th Annual Middle Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition at Lipscomb University.
“It’s really crazy,” Arianna said. “At first my mom told me that she had good news to tell me about the contest. I got excited, because I thought I had placed third or somewhere. She just casually told me that I won. I was so excited and speechless. I couldn’t believe it.”
The Middle Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition showcases exceptional middle and high school student artwork from around the region. The professionally juried competition will be held in the School of Art & Design’s John C. Hutcheson Gallery on the Lipscomb University campus from Jan. 14 through Feb. 18.
“I am ecstatic. She’s the first student since I’ve been here who has qualified for this event,” said THS Art Teacher Kelly Orr. “I’m excited that she’s been able to receive that honor and to have that bestowed on her. I can’t wait to see her artwork up there at Lipscomb. Hopefully if her artwork wins, it will be displayed at the art show at Belmont University this coming summer at the Tennessee Arts Academy.”
Since she was 11 years old, Arianna said she used art as an opportunity to be creative. For her entry piece into the Middle Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition, she said she was experimenting with gouache paints, a method of painting that uses opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a gluelike substance. Arianna was ecstatic and surprised when she learned her piece had placed.
“It was one of the first times that I had used gouache paints because I thought it would be fun,” Arianna said. “So, I put together a painting of a person.”
Both Arianna and her teacher have plans to visit the exhibition at some point next year. For Orr, she said she can’t wait to see the other artwork on display, as well as what the future holds for Arianna.
“The fact that she’s a freshman and getting this honor is incredible,” Orr said. “I only have a few freshmen in class. For her to be a freshman and that talented, I’m excited to see what she produces by the time that she’s a senior.”