Show your work

The Young Blood Showcase

Hug High School student artists Oscar Adame and Marisa Medina.

Hug High School student artists Oscar Adame and Marisa Medina.

Photo By allison young

The Young Blood Showcase will be on display at Holland Project, 140 Vesta St., for one night only on Jan. 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 60 percent of small business owners fail within their first four years. Of businesses that survive, 85 percent of them are run by people who have formal business training.

Making a living as an artist is hard, so school-aged youth who intend to pursue careers in art need all the support and professional training they can get.

The Holland Project offers many opportunities, including the Scholastic Arts Awards program for school-aged artists, held each spring in coordination with the Nevada Museum of Art, and The Stranger Show, a program in which Hug High School artists are each paired with a professional working artist to produce collaborative work for an exhibit at Holland’s gallery.

The Young Blood Showcase, a one-night-only pop-up exhibit held at the Holland Gallery is a step to provide another such opportunity.

“The concept is to do a seasonal open gallery, a time when the gallery is open to artwork from any artist under 21, in any media, any genre, with no constraints on the work,” explains Sarah Lillegard, the Holland Project’s arts and programming director. “Just an open opportunity for young emerging artists to have their work in a space and have their friends and families see it without any constraints or pressure.”

Any number of artists may appear—though advance sign-ups are encouraged. Artists interested in participating are asked to show up at the gallery on Thursday, Jan. 10 between 4 and 8 p.m. with their work, to hang or display it with the help of gallery volunteers. The exhibit and reception, with music by DJ Murder Leopard and pizza provided by Noble Pie, take place from 6-8 p.m. the following night.

The experience will provide students with valuable lessons in exhibiting their work. They’ll discover the intricacies of hanging art in a gallery space, including hanging, framing, placement and spacing, as well as what it means to label a work and put a price on it. And, of course, the experience of standing next to their work, answering questions about it and discussing their process, is a valuable lifelong skill for any working artist.

Lillegard says that Holland is loosely shooting for about 15 artists to participate. At press time, 11 artists had signed up.

Several of them were referred by Hug High School’s art teacher Meredith Arp, including Oscar Adame, a pen-and-watercolor artist of what he calls “surreal, monster-type, gory drawings.” Adame won the judges’ award at The Stranger Show in 2012. He plans to pursue a degree from the Art Institute in San Francisco.

Arp also referred Marisa Medina, an artist who does small pencil portraits of beautiful people made ugly.

“I like turning models into clowns, that kind of thing,” she says. Like Adame, Medina intends to pursue a career in art.

“The Holland Project and their volunteers have brought so many great opportunities for my students,” says Arp, whose Advanced Placement art class works each year on The Stranger Show. “The Young Blood show is going to be a great way for my AP students to learn how to display their work professionally.”

For the blossoming artists who participate in the Young Blood Showcase, there’s no telling what doors such an opportunity could open.

”I’m hoping to get the idea of hanging my work and presenting it,” says Medina. “The way you lay it out and the way you speak about it—that can make or break your work. It’s not your work alone, it’s how your present yourself. It’s about getting more comfortable presenting my work.”