Photo by photo, this Columbia exhibit is a day in school

January 09, 2014|By Mike Giuliano

You'll feel as if you have gone through a typical school day as you walk through the Student Art Exhibit at the Columbia Art Center. Done in conjunction with the Howard County Public School System, this exhibit features numerous photographs and accompanying captions from schools throughout the county.

Most of the exhibiting students take a close-up look at their own daily schedule. One of the first photos you'll encounter was taken by Shelly Walker, a 12th grader at Hammond High School. Her "6:15 AM Make-Up" is a self-portrait that shows her applying makeup to her eyelashes. Her accompanying text reads: "The image shows how everyday females wear make-up to help improve their appearance and fit in in today's society. The emotions on my face show how applying beauty products is not something I want to do. It is something I feel like I have to do."

Breakfast is the subject matter for Lilly Rochlin, a 4th grader at Ilchester Elementary School. "7:40 AM Fruity Way to Start the Day" is a close-up photo of very colorful pieces of cereal in a bowl.

Once students have arrived at school, the intellectual work begins. Neha Banerji, a 6th grader at Clarksville Middle School, has a photo, "8:40 AM The Equation of Life," that offers a very close view of a yellow pencil resting at a diagonal angle on a lined piece of paper being used in a math class.

Rather than take a standard panoramic shot depicting a classroom full of students, Bridgette Mady, a 12th grader at Centennial High School, has a tightly cropped photo that only shows their feet under their desks in "9:20 AM As Class Begins."

The crucial role played by computers in today's classroooms is emphasized by Bailey Lorson, an 11th grader at Long Reach High School, in "11:03 AM Keyboard." This is such a tight shot that it only shows the computer keyboard itself.

Fortunately, there is time for play in the day. Sebastian Tseng, a 5th grader at Elkridge Elementary School, depicts kids smiling as they run around during recess in "12:10 PM Snap." His accompanying text includes the statement: "Zach is chasing Ethan and this image reminds me that sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun."

By the middle of the afternoon, it's time to go home. Maggie Tyson, a 4th grader at Clemens Crossing Elementary School, shows kids with colorful backpacks engaged in animated conversation while riding the bus home in "3:58 PM Going Home."

Once home, it's really time to relax. Jarod Whitney, a 5th grader at Running Brook Elementary School, has a photo depicting his dog resting on a sofa in "4:39 PM My Dog." The accompanying text includes Whitney saying about his dog: "He means a lot to me, because he has been my best friend."

Several other students in this exhibit also have close-up shots of their dogs, so those canine friendships clearly mean a lot.

Finally, the long day closes. Christopher Gauert, a 4th grader at Northfield Elementary School, has an extreme close-up photo titled "8:15 PM Brushing My Teeth" that shows a toothbrush resting on a sink. The brush's white, yellow and blue bristles seem like a cheerful comment on an average day winding down.

The Student Art Exhibit runs through Feb. 3 at the Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth in Long Reach Village Center in Columbia. Call 410-730-0075 or go to

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