Morgan Mansfield and Dakota Nesselbush
SPRINGVILLE — Among all of the artistic talent that is present in the Springville school district, two students have recently been noted for their artwork.
Dakota Nesselbush, a senior at Springville-Griffith-Institute High School, has been pursuing art since she was a toddler.
“When my sister used to leave for preschool, my mom would always put on jazz music and sit me down with play dough and coloring books,” she recalled. “I enjoyed that more than anything else.”
Some of her current work is on display at the University at Buffalo’s Department of Visual Studies, as part of its Western New York Regional High School Art exhibition. Prizes will be awarded to the top four works, as selected by Juror Reinhard Reitzenstein.
Reitzenstein is an associate professor of art and Director of Undergraduate Studies at UB. The piece that Nesselbush has on display is a painting titled “Revolution.”
“I wanted my piece to represent the universal movement of such an idea. The name ‘Revolution’ was inspired by its Latin origins, as well. Revolvere, which means to ‘roll-back,’ demonstrates returning to a lifestyle where we could exist with limited damage to the world we live in, yet still have modern entities, day to day,” she explained.
Her inspiration for this piece comes from a quote, “There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first,” by Jim Morrison.
“Personally, my revolution is to inhabit nature without inflicting harm,” said Nesselbush. “My goal is to keep a green movement spreading in design.”
Nesselbush was recently accepted to the Savannah College of Art and Design with a scholarship. “I plan on going for interior design, where I hopefully will be able to apply my hopes for expanding green design and sustainability,” she said.
Nesselbush had artwork in the UB as a sophomore, as well. She won the Hyatt All Things Creative Award, for creativity in her piece.
Morgan Mansfield is a junior at S-GI and has submitted artwork to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. These awards are hosted by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization that identifies teenagers with “exceptional artistic and literary talent” and brings their work to a national audience.
The awards date back to 1923 and a roster of past winners that includes Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates.
“I think, over the years, I’ve been inspired by other artists and I’ve often gotten ideas for my own artwork by admiring theirs. Sometimes, a certain composition or theme or even just a color will interest me and I’ll think of a way I can expand on it through sculpture, jewelry, photography, drawing or painting,” Mansfield explained. “I’ve always loved art, but I really started taking it seriously freshman year when I took a studio in art class with Mrs. [Angela] Ginnitti. She inspired me to take it further and I ended up attending [New York State Summer School of the Arts], an art summer program at [The State University of New York at] Fredonia, that year.”
Mansfield submitted two entries to the competition.
“One was an acrylic painting that I based on a picture I took on last year’s school trip to Europe. We were walking to dinner in Nice, France, and the blue lights strung across the street from the tops of the buildings combined with the wet, reflective pavement made for a beautiful scene,” she said.
“The other painting was really just an experiment with watercolor and depicting faces and emotion, something different from my usual work.
“I’ve tried many different mediums, ranging from acrylic and watercolor to colored pencil, pastels and charcoal, but lately I’ve been focused on acrylic paintings,” the artist said.
“However, in my Scholastic Art submission, I was attempting to incorporate abstract elements into a more realistic portrait, by combining watercolors, ink and pencil.”
Mansfield is currently looking for colleges that offer both fine arts and art-related majors, such as graphic design or architecture.
“I will definitely have art involved in my career, but I’m still deciding on what specific field I want to work in,” she said.