17-year-old Seth Goodman, photographed beside his welded Batman art piece on display at Shepherd Gallery, a feat which he never though possible.
Seventeen-year-old Seth Goodman, photographed beside his welded Batman art piece on display at the Shepherd Union Gallery. The Upward Bound exhibit will be on display through April 11. (Jin Elle/ The Signpost)

“The Art of Upward Bound,” a new exhibit in the Shepherd Union Gallery, located near the sky bridge in the Shepherd Union building, held its opening reception on March 6.

The opening night, which drew a large crowd, resembled a game of musical chairs as transfixed viewers circled the gallery surveying art. Onlookers wore thoughtful expressions, which seemed to be the event’s dress code, while perusing and discussing the pieces.

The exhibit will be open March 6 through April 11 and features work by Ogden high school students enrolled in Weber State University’s Upward Bound program.

Upward Bound is a federal TRIO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and approved by the Higher Education Act of 1965. Upward Bound assists at-risk students in preparing for college by providing help with everything from tutoring to scholarships and financial aid. The program is aimed towards first-generation, low-income high school students.

The exhibit features a variety of pieces in different mediums, ranging from calligraphy, realistic pencil drawings and portraits, to paintings, welded sculptures and ceramics. There are even Native American and Mexican-inspired pieces in the exhibition.

“We had a lot of great entries from the kids, and we wish could show them all off,” Upward Bound math, science and technology specialist Adam Bachison said.

Linda Tobias, director of the Upward Bound program, and many guests were impressed with the selection Shepherd Union Gallery Director Eden Buxton chose and how quickly she was able to put the event together.

“I really loved the detail in some of the drawings and paintings,” said 18-year-old Ogden High School senior Shai Miguel. “My favorite was one of the eyes, it had lots of vivid detail.”

According to Miguel, some of her friends were able to submit artwork to the gallery, so she came out to support them on opening night. Israel Velazquez, a sophomore at Ben Lomond High School, also came to support his friends. Velazquez described the art on display as well-executed and inspiring.

“I really enjoyed the portrait of the mother and her baby,” Velazquez said. “I think it’s evocative of a mother’s love for her kids and desire to watch over and protect them.”

Manuel Rodriguez, a sophomore at Ben Lomond High School, said his favorite piece in the exhibit was the Batman artwork. Rodriguez loves Batman and said he thought it was very creative, and he also liked how it was painted and cut out.

Katlynn Simpson, who has been enrolled at Upward Bound for two years, said she drew a particular portrait especially for the exhibit. She chose President Chuck Wight as her subject because she wanted to submit something representative of Weber State University. Simpson didn’t sign her drawing and said it came as a complete surprise when the president reached out in the mail.

“I’m honored and delighted (Simpson) thought enough of me to draw my portrait and that it was good enough to be displayed in the Shepherd Union Gallery,” President Wight said.

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