Sunday, October 17, 2004

Machines to vend teens' art

By Lauren Bishop
Enquirer staff writer

Art*o*mat artists (from left) Jennifer Frank, R. Cameron Huckabee, Tahnee Torres and Kendall Trotter

This summer, 15 high school students in ArtWorks' summer program for youth spent about 4 1/2 hours every weekday for six weeks creating small works of art to be sold in Art*o*mats all over the country. Under the guidance of project manager Victor Strunk and teaching artists Amy Combs and Rich Fruth, and with stacks of magazines, old dictionaries and encyclopedias and other materials to draw from, they produced about 1,000 pieces of art.

They'll be sold not only in Cincinnati's Art*o*mat, but in other Art*o*mats all over the country. For each $5 piece of art sold, the artist receives $2.50. The remainder is split between the machine's host and Artists in Cellophane, the sponsoring organization of the Art*o*mat.

Here's a look at four of the artists and their work.

Tahnee Torres

15-year-old freshman at Princeton High School from Sharonville
The art: Three-dimensional Vacation-in-a-Box, puzzles, one cicada shell
Themes: "I just tried to make these kind of mysterious."
Future plans: Author and illustrator

R. Cameron Huckabee

16-year-old junior at Walnut Hills High School from Silverton
The art: Handmade buttons, collages on wood
Themes: "I did a lot with war and with stereotyping and race relations."
Future plans: Study architecture

Jennifer Frank

17-year-old senior at Seton High School from Bridgetown
The art: Finger puppets, three-dimensional collages and dioramas
Theme: "Each little one had its own message."
Future plans: Author and illustrator

Kendall Trotter

16-year-old junior at the School for Creative and Performing Arts from Evanston
The art: Pillows, hand-made journals, dioramas
Themes: Zen, pixies
Future plans: Minoring in art at an East Coast college and majoring in science or literature


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