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Rugs, paintings &pottery

Students of Margo Russell will present their art in “Rugs, paintings and pottery,” a show which opens with a 2 p.m. reception tomorrow, Sun., May 17.

Russell said the show features the work of students from the summer of 2008 through the spring of this year. The students range in age from 5 to 16, and there are more than 75 works of art on display.

Children’s art is particularly engaging because youngsters are naturally creative, she said.

“I try to have a non-restrictive kind of atmosphere in class,” she said. “I give them a tremendous amount of freedom and they are interesting to watch.

“They come in in the fall and soon they know colors and how to mix them. They go get colors and pour their own. They know about drawing and design, and they’re very comfortable and free with it. It’s a great to watch them express themselves.

The “rugs” portion of the show features rugs created on canvas.

“They have really been very excited about doing these rugs,” Russell said. They took it from a raw canvas state to priming it. Everybody primed their own piece and transferred a design to the size of canvas, drew it and painted it.

“It was quite a feat to watch them actually design on paper, then take a piece of canvas and transfer it and make this design into their color portrayal of the rug,” she said.

With the clay pieces, the students have a chance to work in three dimensions.

“They actually feel the mud, the plastic earth of the clay, mold it and make their art,” she said.

Dragons, frogs, and all sorts of critters were the result, she said.

They’ve also done self-portraits in clay.

“They transferred portraits they painted, made templates and portraits out of clay,” she said.

The show also includes portraits and figure studies done by teen students, and some students turned old newspapers into wacky birds.

“They are paper mache and began with throw-away wastepaper from the bin at The Andalusia Star-News,” she said. “We wadded them up into shapes and covered them with tissue paper bandaids. Then we added long legs out of coat hangars. They’re really wacky birds.”

Sunday’s reception is from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.