Ashland High School students are getting a hands-on look at the business of art this month.

Galleries and other venues all around town are displaying student art through the end of March in what has become an annual tradition for the Ashland Gallery Association.

Students had to do a lot more than just drop off their artwork and let adults take over from there. After being nominated by their art teachers, the students had to call gallery owners themselves to schedule meeting times, and also work through a show timeline checklist.

Denise Baxter, the executive director and founder of the Ashland Art Center, said she thought it was a good idea to put a lot of the art show responsibilities in the students' hands. She is showcasing the abstract minimalist paintings of student Maxwell Plotkin this month.

Baxter said Plotkin researched prices on other artists' work to help set his own prices, hung his paintings himself and was well-dressed for the First Friday Art Walk exhibition reception for his work on March 4.

"He's a really great kid — incredibly cerebral and intelligent," she said.

Baxter said all the students who participated were mentored by the business owners who agreed to show their work this month.

Ashland High School art teacher Mark Schoenleber said it's a rare opportunity for student artists to get to show their work alongside professional artists.

They also got to answer questions from the hundreds of patrons who streamed through the galleries during the First Friday Art Walk. Schoenleber said the art walk brought together a multigenerational cross-section of the community.

He said he wants to thank the galleries and the AGA for the gift of exhibition space to the student artists — a gift that reflects the community's generous spirit.

In addition to Plotkin's paintings at the Ashland Art Center, 357 E. Main St., check out the following student art at other local venues:

  • Misha Lake's paintings and Tabalitha Oddo's paintings and drawings at Adelante! Gallery & Tea House, 88 N. Main St.
  • Dylan Schnik's lathe work spinning tops and hollow forms, and Chris Calise's furniture, turned custom pens and large ink and watercolor pieces at Ashland Art Works, 291 Oak St.
  • Angelique Brownlie's figure drawings at Enoteca Wine Bar & Bistro, 17 N. Main St.
  • Kendra Farber's chalk pastel drawings at Boulevard Coffee, 555 Siskiyou Blvd.
  • Emalie Kamrath's paintings at JEGA Gallery & Sculpture Garden, 625 A St.
  • Jackson Davis' video production and Nalani Thiel's drawings and paintings at Illahe Studios & Gallery, 215 Fourth St.
  • Djaruna Smith's chalk, ink and watercolor works and Mia O'Dougherty's paintings and oil pastels at Liquid Assets Wine Bar, 96 N. Main St.
  • Kevin Schilling's lathe work turned bottle stoppers, pens and vessels and Chad Bernard's furniture at Nimbus, 25 E. Main St.

The Ashland Gallery Association sponsors the student art exhibits through annual grants to Ashland High School Arts Advocates. The money is used for scholarships and to buy supplies such as woodworking lathes and easels for promising art students, gallery association representatives said.

Reach reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-479-8199 or

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