Student’s art will hang in Gov.’s Mansion

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 14, 2000

Features Editor

May 13, 2000 11 PM

Any artist would be honored to have a piece of their art chosen to hang in a governor’s mansion. Amanda Chinberg is no exception.

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The Charles Henderson High School senior is still pinching herself to make sure it’s true that her sculpture was purchased by Alabama First Lady Lori Siegelman and will hang in the Alabama room of the Governor’s Mansion in Montgomery.

"I really can’t believe it," Amanda said. "It’s exciting and it’s an honor."

Amanda’s road to the Governor’s Mansion started when she won first place in the Alabama High School District 2 art show and was then chosen as a state winner. The works of all of the state winners were featured in an exhibition at the RSA Tower in Montgomery.

That is where the First Lady of Alabama saw Amanda’s clay and glass sculpture titled "Mood Swings."

"Mrs. Siegelman called me and asked if Amanda would be interested in selling the sculpture," said Pam Smith, art teacher at CHHS. "She was very impressed with Amanda’s work. She especially liked ‘Mood Swings’ because she said it was a piece that she could identify with."

Some of the pieces of art on display at the Governor’s Mansion are donated by the artists. However, Mrs. Siegelman offered $100 for Amanda’s sculpture.

"She wanted to buy the piece to help Amanda with the expenses of college," Mrs. Smith said. "This is so amazing and so impressive. I would gladly give a piece of my art just to see it hang in the Governor’s Mansion. This is really an honor for Amanda and we are proud of her and for her."

"Mood Swings" is a study in clay and features four "mood" masks on a background of colorful glass.

"These are mood cycles we all go through and probably almost every day – happiness, stress, contentment and the end of the day blahs," Amanda said. "I think everyone can identify with it personally. We see ourselves in it."

The bright colors give the sculpture an upbeat feeling even though a couple of the masks don’t reflect that attitude.

"I think the colors make it interesting," Amanda said, adding that the glass she used for the background was some of that donated to the art class by Ed Walter, retired TSU art professor.

Amanda said she is very honored to know that her work was recognized by the wife of the governor of the State of Alabama. And, she was also honored that her art portfolio was selected best of the show in the countywide student exhibition at the Jean Lake Festival May 6 and 7.

The show was sponsored by the Troy Council on the Arts and Humanities and Amanda will receive a $2,000 scholarship along with the prestigious award. She will also have one of her pieces on permanent display in the CHHS cafeteria.

"This was my lucky year," she said, laughing.

However, Smith said no luck was involved.

"Amanda is a very talented artist and we know she will be successful in whatever she chooses to do," Smith said. "I believe art will always be a part of her life."

Amanda agreed.

She plans to attend Troy State University and major in graphic design.

Amanda’s parents are Gary and Nancy Chinberg of Troy.