PVHS students show talents at first special effects reveal night
By Gary Lloyd
PINSON — Before the lights were dimmed and the models strolled out, Chris Screws summed up the night.
“This will not be your typical show,” the Pinson Valley High School art teacher said.
Eleven teams made up of 30 students showed off their artistic talents Friday night in the school’s auditorium. There was a bounty hunter, thief, two magicians, an explorer, bandit, doctor, pirate, bride, scientist and adventurer.
The show imitated the last portion of the Syfy reality show “Face Off,” in which a group of prosthetic makeup artists compete against each other to create prostheses such as those found in science fiction and horror movies.
Each team’s model walked the stage in front of three judges — Rudd Middle School visual arts teacher Casey Williamson, cosmetologist Lori Bryan and haunted house industry coordinator Tyler West — while emcee Justin Harris read each character’s story.
After all had taken the stage, the models were allowed to go into the audience to solicit $1 donations. The character with the most was awarded the People’s Choice Award. The money also helped recoup class costs. The Doctor team, made up of Jocelyn Mitchell and Journee Vancleaf, won that award.
The judges selected The Adventurer team — made up of Jeremy Cobb, Jordan Walton, Lucas Breimhorst and Clayton Davis — as the show’s runner-up.
The winning team was The Scientist, made up of Shelby Justice, Kyle Reaney and Ivy Williams. Justice was the model, and Reaney and Williams collaborated on the design.
“Scary but exciting at the same time,” Justice, a sophomore, said of acting the part on stage.
Reaney, also a sophomore, said The Scientist character is based on an apocalyptic world in which everyone lives under water. The Scientist comes above the water to see if it’s OK to live there again due to an overpopulation under water. Williams, a senior, said the group worked on the costume for two months. It’s made of bed sheets, ACE bandages and paper. The scroll Justice carried was made with a rolling pin and a stick.
“I love it and I love to do it,” said Williams, who has studied under artist J. Anthony Kosar in Chicago and works at the Virginia Samford Theatre in Birmingham.
Reaney will be in Screws’ class again next school year.
“I’ve learned a lot,” Reaney said. “I’ve always wanted to do something like this, and it’s awesome. It’s really cool.”
Other members of the class who participated in Friday’s show included Anissa Lewis, Alexis Little, Zac Burns, Joselyn Sabino, Giselle Vasquez, Tressie Wesson, Leslee Cunningham, Cassady Artimisi, Magen Mahon, Shieann Powers, Brooke Newton, Brianna Senn, Drew Henderson, Kelsey Price, Austin Hartline, Tyler Jackson, Billy Hubbard, Kris Legar, Holli Reid, Martasia Simmons and Alexis Johnson.
Screws said the class will be the same next school year, and the maximum capacity is 30 students. This year’s class will lose 16 seniors and some juniors due to scheduling conflicts. To take the class, students must submit a portfolio to Screws. If he has had them in Art I: Drawing and Design or Art II: Sculpting and Painting, he knows what they can do.
Screws said the special effects class “isn’t beginner level stuff at all.”
Friday’s show, in a way, was a culmination of what the students have done in class this year. Titled “Visual Arts Elective,” the yearlong class meets for 50 minutes every day during third block. That amount of time is never enough most days.
“These kids come in firing on all cylinders, and they don’t want to leave,” Screws said.
The theme for next year’s show is “Fractured Fairytales.” Students will take traditional fairytale stories and twist them in strange and interesting ways.
“What that may be, I don’t know,” Screws said. “Maybe they take a villain and turn it into good. Maybe they take a good guy and turn him bad. Or maybe they do a monstrous version of a character or some futuristic version of a character. It could be anything, really.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.