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South High Students Petra Shortte and Paige Bouleris make waves at High School All Stars exhibition.

January 27, 2022

This year’s High School All Stars exhibition at Saratoga Arts has been wildly successful for two South Glens Falls Central School District students. 

SGF senior Petra Shortte’s piece “Lost in Translation” won Best in Show at this year’s High School All Stars exhibition at Saratoga Arts. 

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Petra Shortte

“Petra certainly has a fearlessness and a color sensibility that far surpasses their years, and all of us at Saratoga Arts have been truly blown away by Petra’s work,” said Christian Wechgelaer, Program Coordinator at Saratoga Arts in a news release.

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Petra Shortte’s winning piece on display at Saratoga Arts.
Photo courtesy of Christian Wechgelaer

As first-place winner, Shortte has won a hardwood collapsible easel and one-year complimentary membership to Saratoga Arts. 

“I was kind of surprised, but you know, I was super confident with my art because I know it’s different from other people’s,” Shortte said. “It’s really in your face. You have to look at it when you walk into a room.”

Shortte said she was aiming for something that had a dream-like quality and was a bit like Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland.

“It could be interpreted in many ways, just like a dream,” Shortte said. 

Shortte had two other pieces in the show – “Where Am I Safe?” and “Thorned To His Manhood” – in the show. Two of the pieces have already sold. 

“I was so excited because I was like, wow, people like this as much as I do. I was proud to just even be able to show it. So the fact that someone wanted to have it too it’s like a nice feeling,” Shortte said.

Shortte said weight room coach Mr. Spector has been especially helpful and motivating. 

“He’s more of a mindset coach. He’s taught me that I can push myself and encourage myself at the same time. I can like my own teacher and my own student, all wrapped into one,” Shortte said.

Shortte said she’s been trying to put a portfolio together to show to local cafes, galleries and other locations that display and sell art. 

“For the summer, I really want to just keep painting and keep selling my artwork,” Shortee said. 

Meanwhile, fellow senior Paige Bouleris saw her piece “Paper Butterflies” – an acrylic paint and paper scraps work – selected as the banner image for the event. 

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Paige Bouleris

For Bouleris, seeing her artwork chosen to promote the show was a shock. 

“I didn’t even think I was gonna get there. I kind of submitted it because Oh, I have a piece and this might be fun.”

The piece represented the end of a stressful year in 2020. The now-senior said she found her junior year tough, but she decided to do something creative about it.

“I made a pact with my friends that I was going to burn all of my work for the year. I was going to get the best grades I could get in class, and I would just burn the paper and be done with it,” she said. “As we were burning it at the end, my friend said, ‘you know, you can turn ash in the paint.'”

That gave Bouleris an idea. She collected some ashes from the burned work. Using the ash paint and scraps of some of the other works, she decided to make a painting that reflected her turning something that caused me a lot of stress and pain into something that she loved to do.

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Paige Bouleris’ piece on the banner for the event.

Bouleris said she has been inspired and helped by all of the art instructors she has had at SGF. She is currently applying to colleges. 

Bouleris stressed that students shouldn’t be afraid to follow their passion for art. 

“I’ve been told before – as I’m sure many people are – ‘You’re not going to make a living off of it.’ ‘You’re going to be a starving artist.’ Or, ‘you’re not good enough.’ But someone had to design the clothes we are wearing or the building we’re walking in. It’s been constant throughout history. It’s always existed around you,” Bouleris said. “It doesn’t matter what other people might say towards you or your art. Do you enjoy doing it? Do you have a passion for it? Even if you just scribble on the side or you want to do maybe a painting on the weekend,” Bouleris said. 

The exhibition will be shown at Saratoga Arts through Feb. 5. Our hours are Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to  5 p.m. at Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Artwork can be purchased during the show, but pieces are going fast. Go to saratoga-arts.org for more information. 

Category: District News, SGFalls HS News