Not long after Allison “Alley” Harrison started doodling with ink and markers at home in Middletown last month, a green-haired girl sporting a blindfold emerged on her canvas. The animated figure, inspired by a video game character, is now part of the Tomorrow’s Artist Today exhibit at the Middletown Arts Center.
Alley, a 10th grade student at Summit Academy Secondary School – Middletown, submitted her work, titled “Blindfold,” to the juried art show.
“They select the best of the best for display,” says Summit Academy art teacher Angela Fraley, adding that the show gets bigger and more competitive each year. This year, students from 12 schools covering an approximate 50-mile radius submitted entries to the show.
Alley has been an artist for as long as she can remember. She enjoys crocheting, drawing, creating with paper mâché, working with clay and “whatever I can get my hands on,” she describes. Alley says her earliest memory of art stems back to when she was a little girl, sitting beside her dad while the two sketched pictures in tandem.
Ever since, Alley has experimented with art, mixing assorted media, adding rubbing alcohol to ink to blend it out, and painting rocks that become pet memorial stones.
“Alley is always creating something. She is self-directed, very intuitive and has a very creative mind. She does things I would never think to do,” says Fraley, describing the sun Alley made with yellow yarn.
In Fraley’s classroom students explore art freely, choosing to take on a creative project of their choice once a week. Fraley says the idea is for students to create art that makes them happy. And as the students tap their individual creative passions, they might even pick up a few ideas from Alley.
“She really is an inspiration to others,” Fraley says.
Alley’s inspirational style may very well serve her and those she works with up the road, when she becomes an adult.
“My job of the future would have to do with art or creativity,” she says. “Art will always be something I do.”