The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center invites visitors to their current gallery show featuring art by talented local high school students. “Rising Stars” is on display for a short time only, now through Saturday, April 17.

This show features a variety of mediums and styles of visual art from high school students in Perham, New York Mills, Wadena and Menahga. The skill and artistry of these young rising stars proves these students have a bright future in the arts, as stated in a Cultural Center news release.

The students present their art in many mediums including watercolor, acrylic, pencil drawings, mixed media, ceramics, digital, photography and more. The themes of each piece are as varied as the artists who produced them.

Wadena artist Hailee Shepersky said she dabbled in art for many years and chose her largest canvas to put on display at this event. It's just the second time she's done a landscape painting. This one includes various mediums.

Wadena ninth-grader Hailee Shepersky stands next to her art now on display at the New York Mills Cultural Center.
Submitted photo
Wadena ninth-grader Hailee Shepersky stands next to her art now on display at the New York Mills Cultural Center. Submitted photo

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"I was going for realism," Shepersky said of her work, which shows a forest scene. "Depending what type of forest you walk into, it could still be pretty good realism."

In stark contrast to Shepersky's forest scene is a graphite drawing done by Menahga 10th-grader T'kya Samuel. Both are students of Freshwater art teacher Josh Hendrickx.

Menahga 10th-grader T'kya Samuel stands with her sketch she has on display at the New York Mills Cultural Center.
Submitted photo
Menahga 10th-grader T'kya Samuel stands with her sketch she has on display at the New York Mills Cultural Center. Submitted photo

"I basically just made a sketch and I really liked it," T'kya said. The image shows a girl with her head down between her knees, evoking considerable emotion. She said she just recently got back into art.

Hendrickx said he kind of forced the girls to submit something, simply because he feels they are very talented artists. Shepersky said she was happy to do it as a way to put her skills to work and get a field trip. While art is fun, both girls say they like to continue to improve their work.

Two of the Perham students included in the show, seniors Neve Palubicki and Faith Jepson, have multimedia pieces, an oil painting and a black and white film photograph. Palubicki enjoys exploring new mediums, including her first multimedia piece.

“I love the idea of being able to display our art,” Palubicki said about the shows and competitions they have been able to enter. She is also a fan of the Cultural Center and said having the opportunity to display her artwork there is a privilege.

Perham seniors Faith Jepson (left) and Neve Palubicki.
Photo courtesy Neve Palubicki, 2021
Perham seniors Faith Jepson (left) and Neve Palubicki. Photo courtesy Neve Palubicki, 2021

The two have had a growing interest in art since a young age and immediately joined every art class they could their freshman year of high school. The shows started the very next year as high school art teacher Peder Butenhoff kicked off another aspect of art.

“He added the competitive side to art. So now we weren’t just doing it for fun, we were also doing it to show people,” Jepson said.

With a continuing love for art, Jepson will be majoring in graphic design and Palubicki in apparel design as they start college next year.

“I really love photography and I feel very fortunate that we’re able to do black and white photography here, it’s kind of a lost art so getting to work with that was a lot of fun,” Jepson said.

With an interest in art since a young age, New York Mills senior Taylor Pulver submitted two ceramic pieces for the "Rising Stars" art gallery in April 2021.
Photo courtesy Taylor Pulver
With an interest in art since a young age, New York Mills senior Taylor Pulver submitted two ceramic pieces for the "Rising Stars" art gallery in April 2021. Photo courtesy Taylor Pulver

As a New York Mills senior, Taylor Pulver created two ceramic pieces of a cookie jar and turtle plate. She said one of the important aspects of the show was submitting original pieces, which the appearance and production of her turtle plate certainly fit.

“I like to do a lot of carving so the cookie jar has tons of carvings all around it, and I added carvings to the turtle as well to give it a little bit more dimension,” Pulver said. The cookie jar includes carvings like mountains, a bridge and flowers.

The carvings, even with all the extra time they take, are Pulver's favorite part.
Photo courtesy Tammy Olson
The carvings, even with all the extra time they take, are Pulver's favorite part. Photo courtesy Tammy Olson

Although she has always been interested in art, a required art class helped her learn new types of art, such as working with clay and enjoying drawing.

“I am very happy to be included in the show and that they got to do it so I could get kind of a feel for the experience and get to share my art with some of the members of the community,” Pulver said.

The New York Mills Lions Club is sponsoring this show and has generously donated cash prizes for works chosen by a jury.

The show is free and open to the public. There will be an open house with cookies and punch on the last day of the show on April 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.



The Cultural Center Gallery and Gift Shop is open Wednesdays and Thursdays 10-7, Fridays 10-5 and Saturdays 10-3. Admission is always free and open to the public. COVID safety guidelines observed.

For more information, call 218-385-3339 or visit www.kulcher.org.