Freedom Plaza features Centennial High School art exhibit

The gallery at Freedom Plaza Retirement Community features a Centennial High School Art Show with nearly 200 artworks on display, including “Ambiguous” by Miranda Wacker, recipient of First Place Mixed Media and Best of Show awards.[Submitted/Miranda Wacker]
By Marla Levine
Special to Independent Newsmedia

The second annual Centennial High School Art Show is on display in the gallery at Freedom Plaza Retirement Community. The exhibition is free and open for viewing from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 6.

Phil Bruner, a retired social studies teacher and accomplished artist, and his wife Carmalene Bruner, act as Freedom Plaza resident curators of the Centennial High School Art Show, which they coordinated with visual arts teacher, Chris Buhrmann.

“Last year 42 students contributed artworks, whereas 95 students were involved this year,” said Mr. Bruner. “With an average of two works per student, we estimate there are 200 pieces on display.”

A Phoenix artist, Julie Frye, president of the Phoenix Artists Guild, conducted the art show judging and awarded first, second and third place ribbons, as well as 12 honorable mentions.

For two years in a row, 11th-grader Miranda Wacker received top honors with a First Place Mixed Media ribbon and Best of Show award for “Ambiguous.”

“Miranda has a great start in art,” said Mr. Bruner. “‘Ambiguous’ is absolutely gorgeous.”

First Place award recipients by category, include: painting “Let’s Dance” by Brissa Rodriguez; drawing “Spots” by Lucy Bubar; photography “Tortoise Awakening” by Seth Wielgus; and ceramics “Figurative Sculpture” by Jessica Wilson.

The 9th-12th grade students are inspired by three arts teachers to create thought-provoking projects that encourage artistic expression.

“The students’ artworks are really imaginative,” admired Mr. Bruner. “They express how they see themselves and social issues.”

The Centennial High School Art Show is on exhibit in the upstairs gallery at Freedom Plaza Retirement Community, located at 13373 Plaza del Rio Boulevard in Peoria.

Freedom Plaza residents enjoy exploring their creative talents at a variety of painting and drawing classes taught in the gallery. For a personal tour of the artfully appointed community, call 623-876-2416.

The community offers a care continuum within the Freedom Plaza Retirement Campus featuring 345 entry-fee independent living apartments, 65 assisted living apartments at The Inn, 20 apartments with Alzheimer’s or dementia care at Clare Bridge Place, plus skilled nursing and rehabilitation services at two care centers, Plaza del Rio Care Center and Freedom Plaza Care Center. Visit for details.

Freedom Plaza is a Brookdale Senior Living community. Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The company owns and operates independent living, assisted living, dementia care, skilled nursing and continuing care retirement centers.

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