SOW: Meril Wallace November 17, 2008

Central student’s knack for art has meteoric rise

SOW Meril Wallace working on an art project in art class at Central HS.

It must be natural talent.

Meril Wallace’s art work and technique reflect an artist with a lifetime of experience and not someone who only began pursuing his art seriously over the last year.

“My art is how I can get myself down on canvas,” said the 17-year-old Central High School senior. “I like to experiment.”

Perhaps it is that open-ended attitude that allows Wallace to master seemingly whatever medium and style he tackles.

“I’m just figuring out what I enjoy,” he said.

Wallace said he has shown his work at last spring’s Altrusa art show at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts.

Wallace is honing his drawing skills with a charcoal drawing of an animal skull and keeps a sketchbook of his “experiments” with shape and acrylic painting.

“My sketchbook never has to be final,” Wallace said.

One of Wallace’s latest paintings finishes off an art project in perspective. On the surface, the painting depicts a white leafless tree at the end of an alley painted in muted brown tones.

Closer inspection reveals that all elements of the painting are based off the number seven. There are seven rungs in the fire escape on one of the buildings, Wallace said, and seven sidewalk segments from the foreground of the painting to the tree.

The project was one of several assignments from art teacher Joe Gonzales, who said Wallace is a “brilliant artist.”

“Meril excels at just about anything he tries,” Gonzales said.

Wallace said Gonzales’ instruction has had a large impact on his life and inspired him to change
majors at Mesa State College from mechanical engineering to art education when he leaves for college and pursue a career as a high school art teacher.

“It was just a couple months ago I applied to mechanical engineering,” Wallace said. “I got accepted to the program, so I have to go through that change.”

Wallace said he would like to eventually earn a master’s degree in fine arts and explore as many media as he can.

But his limit is three-dimensional media such as pottery, he said.

“3-D does not work for me,” he said.

Not all of Wallace’s time is occupied with art.

He has earned three letters in track and is working with his friends to establish a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at Central.

GPA: 4.068

Parents: Shaun and Cindy

Preferred college: Mesa State College

Where he sees himself in five years: Taking over Montana and seceding from the union

Favorite TV show: “Scrubs”

Favorite music: Big D and the Kids Table

Hero: God

Why?: “He went through a living hell to save me,” he said.

I’m most proud of: My parents for supporting me through everything.


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