Postcard Art from High Schoolers on Show in Bliss Hall

By Jaivaun Dodge
Jambar Contributor 

The second annual mail-in art show held by Youngstown State University is showcasing 150 postcards from 16 different high schools across the area in the Solomon Gallery in Bliss Hall until Nov. 21. The postcards were sent by high schoolers across northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

Originating in the 1960’s, postal art was created for smaller scale art pieces and the means for artists to connect with other artists.

“We wanted to do something as a community service to high school students, and we decided to do an art show,” Claudia Berlinski, the museum coordinator at the McDonough Art Museum at YSU, said.

Berlinski said she thought it would be fun and accessible for high school students to participate in, and it could mean something to students to have their work showcased for people to see.

Jon Hill, an art teacher at Newton Falls High School, said the idea for postcard art has been on his mind in the past.

“I knew my students would find it to be an exciting and unique challenge,” Hill said. “It breaks the mold of your everyday art unit and project.”

Hill said he thinks students feel a sense of pride when their work gets displayed in a public exhibition. He also thinks art exhibitions will continue to grow throughout the area, showcasing the younger students of the area.

Berlinski said she believes the art show could be a confidence boost to those who take art seriously.

“For some [students], it may just have been an assignment, but other entries show a particular dedication that indicates it meant something to have their work hung in a university gallery,” she said.

Gavin Dill, a junior political science major, has long thought that schools and universities should have held events like this for multiple areas to showcase younger talent.

“I think that some of the younger students can often get discouraged or impatient when taking up art,” said Dill. “This is a correct way to show these creative students what is it to feel good about their work.”

Dill also thinks that mail-in art is also a great way for people who might not have the transportation or means to get their art shown.

“Often art is a solitary pursuit, and I think any artist appreciates others taking the time to look at their work,” Berlinski said.

Hill also said he thinks students will get a morale boost, and the momentum can help in overall performance and participation in class.

Berlinski said it can be challenging to organize an event like this when it comes to things like gathering contact information of art teachers.

“This is our second year and with each year it becomes easier,” she said.

Berlinski said they hope to reach a larger audience in coming years of having the art show.

An opening reception and award ceremony will be held for the cards on Nov. 6. Berlinski, along with Christine McCullough, will jury the art show.