Grandview Heights High School senior Hayley Meyers was one of 25 students selected for the Governor's Award of Excellence for the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition.

Grandview Heights High School senior Hayley Meyers was one of 25 students selected for the Governor's Award of Excellence for the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition.

Meyers, who attends GHHS in the morning and Fort Hayes Career Center in the afternoon, was honored for "Bark Girl," a piece she said was inspired by the recent death of her grandmother.

The work is a portrait of a deceased woman painted onto a large piece of bark.

The image suggests the Victorian-era practice of having photographs of deceased loved ones taken as keepsakes, Meyers said.

"Sometimes it was the only photograph they had of their family member," she said. "The piece is about the human ceremony of death, which is really more for the living than for the deceased."

The art she creates "is symbolic of the things I find interesting and important in life," she said. "Art is my best way of communicating how I feel about things."

The power of art is its ability to communicate ideas through a single image instead of a multitude of words, Meyers said.

"I like being able to do that," she said. "I like people being able to look at something I've created and have an idea or interpretation of what I was feeling."

Art is just one aspect of Meyers' creativity

After graduation, she will be moving to California to continue to pursue her acting career. She also plays in a band.

Her acting career already includes a small part in the George Clooney film, "The Ides of March."

All those endeavors inspire and influence each other, Meyers said.

"They are all connected to each other," she said.

In all her artistic work, "I'm committed to going full throttle," Meyers said. "I never want to stay still."

A recent painting she completed was influenced by Roy Lichtenstein. It portrays Capt. John Smith choking Pocahontas.

"Pocahontas has smallpox and the smallpox is represented by dots that are above her," Meyers said. "They are Roy Lichtenstein-type dots. It has a real pop-art feel to it.

"I don't want to get stagnant," she said. "I want to try new things and struggle. If you're not struggling, you're not learning."

The Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition opens April 14 at the James A. Rhodes Office Tower.

Of 12,000 entries from around the state, about 2,500 were selected to enter the state judging. Jurors chose 300 pieces for the exhibition, with 25 of those selected for the Award of Excellence.