Twice each year, artist Linda Ahearn holds a student show with works created by young people in classes at her Toscana Studio & Gallery.
Her next show, which kicks off Saturday, Aug. 23, is a special one. It will feature the photographic works of the late Ironwood Ridge High School student Jennifer Miller, who took her own life in May of this year.
“Her mother wants to make something positive of this so others can learn about the dangers of depression and make an impact on others,” Ahearn explained. “The mother donated the work, which includes several landscapes, to Toscana in Jennifer’s name.”
Saturday’s student art premiere is being held from 7 to 10 p.m., and the public is welcome to attend. A collection of the teenager’s poetry will be read by her friends in Toscana’s new outdoor amphitheater. Beverages will be provided, as will piano entertainment by Miller’s piano teacher.
Talking about the ceremony is difficult for Ahearn, but she emphasized that it’s a celebration of Miller’s life and talents. “I’m trying hard to make a good event out of something tragic. For 17 years old, she was ahead of her time. It’ll be profound.”
Other student artwork in the exhibit will include clay and plaster sculptures, plus some collage, mixed media and paintings, according to Ahearn. The pieces, to be displayed both inside the gallery and within the garden area at Toscana, will remain through Sept. 22.
Proceeds from the show go back to art education for young people, Ahearn noted.
“We will award two art scholarships to classes here. A small group will judge the work and see who’s deserving and has a future as an artist,” she said.
Toscana is located at 9040 N. Oracle Road, Suite A, just north of Hardy Road. Learn more about Toscana at www.toscanastudioandgallery.com or call 906-9224.