Abby Deweerd and Eryn Ho’s paintings have been selected for MAEA Regional Show


Above: Abby Deweerd; Below: Eryn Ho

Currently being shown at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, on display alongside Grand Rapids’ most impressive works of art, are two pieces painted by FHC’s very own seniors, Abby Deweerd and Eryn Ho.

The two seniors’ remarkable paintings wound up at the GRAM because they were selected to be in the Michigan Art Education Association (MAEA) Regional Show upon art teacher Neven Allan submitting their artwork into the contest. Every teacher within the region had the opportunity to choose five pieces of their students’ to enter in the contest; a select few pieces were handpicked by a judge to be showcased at the GRAM. These pieces, including Abby’s and Eryn’s, will be there through the 23rd of this month. After the 23rd, they will move on to the Kresge Center to be judged for the state competition. The artwork that moves on from the state competition will then be in the running for the Governor’s Traveling Show, a coveted art show that will travel the country for about a year.

Eryn’s painting

Eryn’s painting was an oil painting done of one of her closest friends: Karisa Rodeghiero. Eryn was overjoyed to discover that she was being honored for her work.

“It was exciting to hear that one of my pieces I worked so hard on got picked to move on in the competition,” Eryn said.

Abby’s painting was also an oil painting; however, her’s was a self-portrait.

“It was really weird to paint myself,” Abby said. “I literally stared at myself for a month and overanalyzed every single feature of my face.”

Abby and Eryn’s oil paintings were handpicked from a wide variety of artwork from high schools across the region.

Abby’s painting

“I think a lot of [the reason why our paintings stood out] is that they do look very realistic, kind of like a photograph,” Abby said. “They’re not cartoon or abstract; they’re very realistic.”

Eryn echoed similar sentiments on why the paintings caught the eye of the judge.

“I think the painting stood out because it was realistic and quite large compared to anything I’ve done in the past,” Eryn said.

Both Abby and Eryn certainly possess a vast amount of artistic capability. The root of their talent perhaps lies in the years of practice they’ve put into art.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing [art] a lot,” Abby said. “In elementary school [being able to go to the art room] was always my favorite part.”

Similarly, Eryn has had a love for art from a very young age.

“I got into art when I was younger, my cousin and I were really into it,” Eryn said. “We would always play outside and draw when we were together. I think having a buddy who was into it as much as myself really helped me enjoy it more. Then, as I took more art classes, my teachers encouraged me to stay involved in art.”

Indeed, Abby and Eryn have taken their fair share of art classes. In terms of high school, Abby and Eryn are both in their fifth art class with Allan, AP Studio Art, and they both can agree that the lessons they have learned from her over the years are immeasurable.

“Mrs. Allan is super supportive and she really knows what she’s doing,” Eryn said. “She has helped me in formatting, mounting, and discovering new mediums. She also knows the areas I need to improve and gives me great pointers to touch up where I struggle.”

“I’ve learned a lot of different techniques and [I’ve] grown my style,” Abby said. “Mrs. Allan has been very helpful with that. She always pushes us to do better even if we don’t want to. Honestly, [the FHC art program] has been a really great experience.”