soba Catherine McCleanThree Bluffton High School art students will display drawings, photography and paintings at The Society of Bluffton Artists (SoBA) gallery from January 7-February 3. An opening reception is scheduled from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, January 13 at the gallery, located in Old Town Bluffton. This event is free and open to the public.


The exhibit will feature drawings by Catherine McClean, photography by Gabriel Morales and paintings by Nathalia Roca.

“We’re using three of our student artists with 24-piece advanced placement portfolios that they will submit for college credit,” said Andrea Pejeau, event organizer. “Each artist will have one of the three walls in the small gallery.”

Bluffton High School’s Art Department offers five visual arts majors: ceramics, drawing, painting, photography and computer design. Each program culminates in Advanced Placement Studio Art for college board credit. The three students “have risen to the challenge” of designing and creating a 24-piece portfolio that includes we pieces that represent a range of approaches and 12 pieces that describe an in-depth exploration of a design/drawing theme.

“This show is the vision of our SoBA president, Gayle Miller, as she seeks to encourage and to inspire out Bluffton High student artists to submit their strongest artwork for review by their five-teacher art faculty to be chosen as featured artists for January’s gallery show.”

About the artists:

Catherine McClean’s work (top) explored themes of patriotism — “the cost of a free country.” She portrays human attachments and how a common belief can bond people. McClean is a senior art student with plans to attend Clemson University as a double major in graphic communication and vocal performance.soba Gabriel Morales

Gabriel Morales is working with contemporary portrait, “how the eyes speak for themselves, reflecting what someone is feeling on the inside.” He incorporates dramatic lighting for powerful emphasis. Morales also is a senior art student, who already has completed photo shoots for paying clients. He will start his own business while studying entrepreneurship.

soba Nathalia RocaNathalia Roca is exploring “The Power of the Tongue,” how even the simplest spoken words can affect people. Roca is a sophomore who submitted a well-received 24-piece portfolio as a freshman. She is currently working on her second advanced portfolio. Roca plans to complete a photography portfolio next year, and a sculpture advanced portfolio her senior year before going on to study fine arts as a painting major.

About The Society of Bluffton Artists:

SoBA is the flourishing art hub in Bluffton’s historic District at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets. SoBA offers regular art classes, featured artist shows, exhibitions and more. Please visit for a complete calendar of events and other information or call 843-757-6586.