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High school student gets own art show

WESTPORT-Not every high school student gets her own art showing. But that's just what Nancy Armitage, a senior at Westport Central School, received.

Area residents crowded into the Depot Theater, a train station turned art gallery, to admire her work April 12.

"It's overwhelming,"Armitage said. "It's a huge honor. I don't know how else to describe it; it's just a great feeling."

She was awarded the one-student-show after her teachers decided her work merited the attention, approached the Depot and found the space was available.

Armitage said her interest in creative activities can be traced back to her mother, who's a painter.

"[My mom] got me interested in doing art," Armitage said. "She taught me the basic fundamentals, and since then I've just had a huge passion for it and stuck with it."

Armitage said oil pastel painting was her favorite medium, while quickly pointing out there was only one such work in the gallery that day.

"I've only recently gotten into it," she said. "It's just a really great medium to work with. It's really easy to blend colors together...I just dive into it and use my fingers to smudge the colors and shade the picture."

Her favorite piece in the gallery, titled "Corn Rows," won first place in a drawing and painting competition at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

"It's a watercolor painting of Indian corn," Armitage said. "It took so long to just have the finished product - a lot of washing everything out and repainting areas."

Chris Casquilho, the managing director of the Depot Theater, said he enjoyed putting the space to good use.

"I would say there's probably four to six weeks a year when there isn't anything on the walls," Casquilho said. "And that's not on purpose."

Still, not just anyone earns a spot in the gallery, let alone a show completely dedicated to her work.

"There is a certain amount of selectivity going on," Casquilho said.

Armitage said she hopes to have a professional art career, and plans to pursue a fine arts major at SUNYPlattsburgh.

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