Grandparent Portrait Show


Shay Smith

A sculpture submitted in the show by Shay Smith, inspired by his grandfather.

The Grandparent Portrait Show is a biannual event in which 7th-12th grade students can submit art pieces inspired by their relatives. The show is hosted by the Student Art Fund, whose committee evaluates all submissions. Some DP students decided to enter their work for the 2023 show.

“[Ms. B] just told me that there was a competition going on and I was welcome to participate if I wanted. So, it was either that or do a different project, like make a pot or something, and I would rather sculpt something. So, I just sculpted my grandpa,” junior Shay Smith said.

Shay is currently enrolled in ceramics, where his teacher Ms. B encouraged him to enter the show. Several art mediums such as painting, printmaking, and photography are allowed to be entered. He chose to create a sculpture to represent his grandfather.

“He’s just a really interesting character. I mean, he served in Vietnam when he was only a year older than I am right now, so that’s pretty cool. And then he moved to Wisconsin and built his own house. So he’s a real frontiersman, basically. And he’s just a cool guy,” Shay said.

Shay enjoys fishing with his grandfather during the few times they get to visit. He decided to keep his sculpture a secret for now, having only shown his parents. Shay said that he hopes his grandpa will be pleasantly surprised.

An opening reception for students and their families was held on April 7 in the Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Public Library. There were 13 awards given, including 12 $150 cash prizes and one $450 Best of Show title. Teachers received a $50 prize when one of their students was acknowledged. All awards were announced at the opening ceremony.

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