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Local students' art to be displayed at World Equestrian Games

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By Jimmie Earls

If all of the world is a stage, then three Washington County High School art students will be in the limelight when their talent is showcased as part of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington. This is the first time the event has been hosted on U.S. soil, and as part of the festivities, an exhibition titled “Desert Treasures” will feature representations of various Arabian horses.

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“All of the pieces are based on the Arabian horse,” said WCHS art teacher Marilyn Peters. “The students had to do research, come up with a story, and base their work on some aspect of the Arabian horse. Each horse will be placed on a four-foot tall base and be on display at the Arabian exhibit during the World Equestrian Games.”

Senior Laura Turner’s untitled work is inspired by the Arabian horse that President George Washington rode.

“It’s a big honor,” said Turner. “It’s really amazing, so I’m trying to do my best to make this as neat as possible. We got the horses three weeks ago. In as much time as we’ve had, I think I did pretty good. I’m using a mosaic section and I’m trying to make it look like one of those European desert rugs, but I’m just trying to get it done.”

Senior Sarah Mattingly’s work is titled “Arabian Nights.”

“My horse is inspired by Aladdin,” said Mattingly, whose horse looked like a patchwork quilt of colors and patterns. “I colored, or painted, outside the lines. It’s a big honor, but sometimes it can be irritating.”

Junior Tiffany Graves based her horse on an old legend.

“My inspiration was an ancient legend that this horse, when she went into battle with her master, he got shot and she balanced him on her shoulders for three days and three nights without water to take him back to his family so they could bury him,” said Graves. “On the left side of the horse is a scene of a man petting the horse, showing his love for the horse.”

The horses were specially made, and only 25 were cast out of fiberglass. Mattingly and Graves both used acrylic paint on their works, while Turner used oil-based paint. Each student was given a $50 budget to create their piece. Each school in the state was allowed to submit three entries, and all three of WCHS’ entries were selected.

“All of my art students did a design, and we chose the top three,” said Peters. “Our three were selected from hundreds of entries across the state. We ended up with three out of 20 horses that won in the state; not a bad ratio for a little school like us. It’s a great honor.”