The artwork of high school students throughout Crystal Lake is right up there with the pros.
A first-ever District 155 Art Extravaganza at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, 401 Country Club Road, has given students the chance to experience a professional art show. The show is ongoing through Jan. 31, when a closing reception takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park.
"I think it's a great opportunity for the students to be able to show their work in a different context than just in the art room or in the classroom," said Zachary Wisser, an art educator at Cary-Grove High School, one of four schools featured in the show.
The other schools involved include Crystal Lake Central, Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake South high schools.
Each school picked about 25 pieces of artwork, including photography, graphic illustration, mixed media, painting, drawing, ceramics and other medias.
Students, such as Crystal Lake Central junior Eli Adams, jumped at the chance. The 16-year-old, who intends to pursue art after high school, has two pieces in the show, including a drawing and a painting.
"It's cool to see how good high school students can be," she said. "It's an honor to be in a show with a bunch of really good artists."
Along with supplying the artwork, the students actually worked behind the scenes to create the show, prepping and hanging the work, said Kerry Parrish, an art educator at Crystal Lake Central High School.
"It's a great opportunity for them to get some artwork in their own community," she said. "That gives them the sense that it's this big professional show. We're hoping it's not just parents coming to the show. We're hoping it becomes a community event. I think it's an awesome way to showcase the talent we have in our high schools."
At Central, educators tried to choose some of the strongest artwork from a variety of classes, Parrish said. The work of students of all ages was included.
Same goes for Cary-Grove, where students were asked to take part, Wisser said.
"We tried to put as much as we could into the show, and we tried to get as many kids involved as possible," he said.
"This is kind of an amazing show because it's all four of the high schools," he said. "Some of the students are going to be able to meet students from other schools and compare their work."