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Downtown store showcases top high school artists

River Falls High School senior, Paige Meyer, who will be studying either graphic design or apparel design at UW-Stout, displays her cat sculpture at Global Made/Gallery 120, 120 N Main St. <i>Jillian Dexheimer photos</i>

Forty River Falls High School students are displaying their work at Global Made/Gallery 120, 120 N Main St., through Thursday, April 5.

According to high school art instructor Gina Pedriana-Basche, "It is a wide variety of work taken from classes in drawing/design, sculpture, painting and pottery."

Students were taught by art instructors Pedriana-Basche and Wynn Davis.

Students were left to their own devices and chose the theme of their art.

Pedriana-Basche met Global Made/Gallery 120 owner Ila June Brown-Pratt when she was working on her master's of Secondary Education, Fine Arts degree and some of her artwork was on display there.

Brown-Pratt, a retired UW-River Falls professor, travels the world, looking for art to sell in her shop.

According to Brown-Pratt "The shop is a nonprofit, fair-trade store that imports items from developing countries."

Global Made/Gallery 120 also has a large gallery space where she holds monthly art exhibits.

Art on display by the high school students include amazing portrait drawings, unique teapots, ceramic masks and vases, creative paintings and sculptures. Some of these are available for purchase.

Displayed artwork includes pieces by the following: Paige Meyer, Lindsey Bramer, Sydney Wachter, Schuyler Sowa, Mckinsy Sylla, Johanna Bautch, Elise Woodwick, Rose Tashjian, Taylor Caldwell, William Kucinski, Kara Gilbert, Adrien Goudrealult, Marilyn Beauchman, Kadey VanBlaircom, Micha Bennett, Graden Gribble, Hannah Lee, Nicole Mischler, William Stolp, Chris Lor, Kaitlyn Place, Greta Wunrow, Salvador Bastien, Katherine Stark, Tyler Erickson, Nancy Davis, Nicole Ekstrom, Alexi Bopray, Sterling Just, Caitlin Wrenn, Carlie Christensen, Croix Bopray, Melanie Johnson, Joel Maser, Chas Erickson, Winston Bystrom, Samantha Isler and Sophia Ewens.

"These are my attentive, high-achieving students," said Pedriana-Basche.

"Art is like any other subject -- if you have a desire to learn and work hard, you get better."

Some of her students are going on to pursue art-based degrees in college. "Nicole (Mischler) will be studying Elementary Ed. at UWRF next year and art will be helpful," Pedriana-Basche said.

Others are going on to have art degrees, such as Meyer who will be studying graphic design or apparel design at UW-Stout.

"My job is to accept and encourage -- who knows where these kids will be in the future." said Pedriana-Basche.

Pedriana-Basche also has her work on display, "I think it is important to practice what you teach."

A reception to honor the student artists was held on March 9. Students from F.A.C.E. (family and consumer ed.) and their instructor, Sue Schwartz, made snacks for the attendees.

The artwork will be on display until April 5. Global Made/Gallery 120 is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jillian Dexheimer

Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.