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Seniors know it’s almost time to graduate once their exhibitions are done.

Each year, members of the senior class at Sedona Red Rock High School present their senior exhibitions, a project of their choosing that is planned throughout the year.

One senior got an early start, however, beginning plans at the end of her junior year. Skyler Plouffe impressed exhibition judges with her yet-to-be-titled mixed media work.


“I spent almost every day working on it” since last summer, she said. She chose to do a mixed media piece — students can decide between a paper and a project — because it was something separate from what she wanted to do in college and was more in her wheelhouse.

Plouffe is looking to study biology and astronomy at Northern Arizona University.

“I’ve never seen so many smiles on so many faces because of how proud they are of their exhibitions,” organizer Karyl Goldsmith said.

The composition displays transition, Plouffe said. She moved here in 2014 from North Carolina. “I wanted to incorporate how I changed as a person,” she said.

She hopes that viewers will be able to pull from their own changes when looking at the piece. She composed it with large inspiration from surreal art, she said, such as the melting flesh from bone element in her art.

A large bit of research went into the work, Plouffe said. She examined the future of mixed media vs. its past and found that mixed media, broadly speaking, has been around since cave paintings. She said that the future of mixing different ways of creation would have a much larger digital role.

Plouffe didn’t get to simply turn in the art and walk away. She had to present it to the judges first.

“It went really well,” she said. “They [judges] seemed to get emotional as I was telling them about it.”

“The judges came out just talking and beaming. They were really impressed by her,” Goldsmith said.

There were struggles in ensuring such a reaction would be possible, Plouffe said. Particularly a situation involving glow-inthe-dark paint. She said she bought fairly expensive paint tubes for the project, but upon applying them, they dried out too close to the deadline.

“I had to scrap that idea altogether. That was going to be one of the biggest things I talked about in my presentation,” she said. “I had a quick mental breakdown.”

She did say, though, it was an achievement to speak publicly so well, noting that even her parents noticed.

“The exhibition helps with public speaking, deadlines. It made me think about what I actually want to do, because I was considering pursuing an art career.”

She can’t see herself doing that after seeing what working on deadline will be like, but in addition to her planned double major, she intends to keep pushing herself with studies in Japanese.

“I’ve always enjoyed Japanese, and Asian, culture. I even incorporated it into my project,” she said. As Plouffe looks over her high school career, she said that overall, her work prepared her for college life. This is especially due to duel enrollment classes.

Though she may not make a career of it, art will always be a good way to relieve stress or just have fun.

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