Fresh Perspectives

Bridgewater-Raritan High School Students Discuss Their Art Selected for Exhibition at the Morris Museum

In 1989, the Morris Museum in Morristown launched “Fresh Perspectives,” a juried exhibition that gave an opportunity for artistically accomplished New Jersey high school students to express their curiosity and creativity in a variety of media, such as photography, drawing, painting and sculpture.

This year’s exhibition showcased 50 entries recognized by the museum’s jury panel, including artworks by Meredeith Thayer and Angela Xu, students who were in Elizabeth Stuztman’s AP Art class at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

“Every year I look forward to entering student artwork into one of the most prestigious high school show venues across the state of New Jersey. I believe having your artwork on display in a real museum setting such as the Morris Museum is a significant achievement for a student artist,” Stuztman says. “I am incredibly proud of what Meredith and Angela achieved this year. Their work ethic as artists sets them apart, so no doubt that was a contributing factor to their success this year.”

The young artists discuss their art: 

Angela Xu
Graduate, Class of 2023
“The Bug Collector” (alcohol marker and colored pencil)

My artwork is about my family duties as a bug collector: Every once in a while, I venture to my house’s incredibly cluttered basement and sort through our mess to clean out any critters that might have taken shelter. This piece accurately represents the things I do to get rid of the pests that crowd my basement, like throw tennis balls or use brooms as weapons. 

I wanted also to show my cluttered basement in full colored detail because each object brings me a lot of nostalgia and comfort. Most of my art, in general, is inspired by the things I find in my house: The rooms, the objects, the people, the situations. It’s a really personal topic for me, and I’m glad I’m able to express it through my art.

I used to take private art classes outside of school for several years but stopped to focus on my AP Art and non-art courses at school. I’m interested in pursuing architecture or some design or urban planning field, so art will most definitely be involved in my future in some way.

Meredeith Thayer
Graduate, Class of 2023
“Fletcher and Quill” (watercolor and alcohol marker)

My artwork is about the collections of items I have in my room, and how I display the things I find and love. I was inspired by the prompt “Create a study of a cluttered corner” and chose to focus on a bookshelf that I’ve used to display books, rocks and skulls that I’ve found while exploring. 

I’ve never studied visual art outside of school, but I have taken many ceramics classes and also enjoy that medium of creation. I do not plan on pursuing art as a career because I want to keep it as a passion instead.

“Having your artwork on display in a real museum setting such as the Morris Museum is a significant achievement for a student artist.”

—Elizabeth Stuztman, AP Art, Bridgewater-Raritan High School

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