ATLANTIC CITY — Claire Bustos and Sabrina Singh found themselves bonding by a couple of drawings at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University on Tuesday evening.
The two students were discussing high school sports: Bustos, who is now a freshman at Temple University, rowed for Oakcrest High School, and Singh rows as a junior at Egg Harbor Township High School.
Besides crew, the two have something else in common. They both have pieces of art from this past year’s Teen Arts Festival that will be traveling across the state for others to see.
The 2017-18 New Jersey State Teen Arts Touring Visual Arts Exhibit is on view through Dec. 28 at the Arts Garage. It will travel around New Jersey until the 2018 festival in April.
The exhibit includes 45 pieces selected from among thousands created by talented teen artists across the state. Each of the 15 participating counties nominated four pieces to be part of the touring exhibit.
Of those pieces, four students from Atlantic County were featured, including Bustos and Singh, along with Rebekah Betar, of Cedar Creek High School, and Ava Keuhner, of Ocean City High School.
Since 1969, Atlantic County holds a Teen Arts Festival every May. Works are then selected and go on to the state festival, which tours across New Jersey.
“It says a lot about their talent and it says a lot to the efforts they put into their own work,” said Kimberly Brown, cultural and heritage administrator for Atlantic County.
About 700 pieces from Atlantic County were submitted, with only the four being selected to tour the state.
“I was completely honored,” said Bustos, of Mays Landing. “I did not expect it at all but when I found out I thought, ‘Wow, that is awesome.’”
Bustos’ piece was from an art assignment at Oakcrest where she put together multiple magazine clippings as a collage and then recreated it with pastel.
Initially Bustos wanted to be an artist, but wanted to make sure she had a plan if it didn’t work out. She’s now studying advertising with an art direction track in Philadelphia.
She said having the honor of the touring exhibit on her resume helps her in the field she’s studying.
“It definitely helps. You need the art skills in advertising and a creative skill set is necessary, so this kind of broadens that opportunity to just be out there and really be unique,” Bustos said.
Sabrina Singh’s art came from a day in art class when her teacher brought an old bicycle into the classroom. The students were asked to maneuver the bike and draw it, but Singh had her reservations to go in front of students to move the bike.
“I was shy to walk up and move it so I just looked at it and took what I thought was a weird spot of the bike and interesting looking,” said Singh, of Egg Harbor Township.
She decided to draw the bike’s tire, with the front tire twisted perpendicularly to keep it up.
Singh said that it’s overwhelming to think about all the eyes that will be on her piece of art. She added that while she’s very grateful for the honor, she thinks people who were unable to check out this year’s festival should make it a point to see the 2018 show, which will feature not only drawings and paintings but performance art, poetry and more.
“I think you should check it out. Honestly, I didn’t think I would win and but I just saw such amazing art there,” Singh said.
The 2018 Atlantic County Teen Arts Festival is scheduled for April 27 in the Hammonton Art District.