By Ryan Cornell
FRONT ROYAL -- Allyson Callihan is getting her big break.
The Skyline senior's paintings were published in the April issue of Arts & Activities, a national magazine that prints 10 issues a year.
"I was so excited," said Callihan, 17. "At first, I don't think it really hit me how many people are actually submitted, but once I found out, I was really excited."
Cindy Redmon, who has taught Callihan art classes for the past five years, submitted to the magazine last fall and learned they accepted the artwork about a week ago.
"[They're] getting bombarded by teachers from all over the nation getting wonderful work," she said. "We're just really thrilled."
She said the magazine is geared toward art teachers with articles on current trends, lesson plans and new techniques and materials.
Callihan said her creative process changes, and her latest focus has been mixed media, such as acrylic paint on collaged board. She explained that she would collage papers and other materials onto a board and paint eyes, self-portraits or nature scenes on top.
She said she began thinking about art as a career during her freshman year.
"I've learned so much," she said. "I always like to draw and doodle and stuff, but just coming into class, I've actually learned techniques and I feel like I'm prepared to go to college for it."
She said she isn't sure which school she wants to attend, but wants to major in either graphic design or studio art.
Redmon said Callihan is in her second year of independent study, an art class eligible to juniors and seniors who finish Art 2 and are recognized as leaders in the classroom.
"I don't really teach Ally, I mentor Ally," she said. "She is really self-motivated and comes up with her own ideas."
She said the school will offer an AP Studio Art class next year that can give students college credit. She said it would be the first year that Warren County has offered the course.
"The state as a whole supports the arts beautifully and I think we're very lucky to offer these kids the depth of education they get here with all the arts," she said.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org