The Arts Fund will open its 2011 Teen Arts Mentorship Group Exhibition on Friday.

More than 50 acrylic and oil paintings, black and white film photographs, mixed media collages and assemblages, and bronze sculptures will highlight the diverse talents of 29 high school students who participated in four mentorship programs led by local master artists Nell Campbell, Nevin Littlehale, Rafael Perea de la Cabada and Ron Robertson.

The exhibition will be held at The Arts Fund Gallery, 205C Santa Barbara St. in Santa Barbara, and will be on view until Friday, July 9. A public reception will be held in the gallery from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

For 16 years, this unique arts enrichment program has offered promising teenage artists the opportunity to work closely with local professional master artists in a studio environment. Working in small groups of no more than eight, students receive specialized training, produce portfolio-quality work, gain insight into future careers in creative fields and participate in a group exhibition in a professional gallery.

This year’s program was designed to support art educators’ desire for more in-depth foundation courses for teens who are serious about pursuing advanced studies in the arts. The classes that were offered this year were Basic Bronze Casting taught by Littlehale, Mixed Media taught by Robertson, Black and White Film Photography with Campbell and Thinking Through Art: Contemporary Painting with Perea de la Cabada.

Sessions were held in private studios and art classrooms on the campuses of the Brooks Institute and SBCC. For 10 weeks, students were immersed in instruction, evaluation and the creative process. The Mentorship Group Exhibition represents the culmination of students’ work in this program by introducing them to the steps involved in preparing and displaying art in a public venue.

The 2011 Teen Arts Mentorship Exhibition will feature students from Dos Pueblos, San Marcos, Santa Barbara, San Roque, Olive Grove, Bishop Diego and Carpinteria high schools. Participants are as follows: Nell Campbell/Black and White Film Photography — Brendan Vallier, Estrella Hoeckley, Evelyn Bobadilla, Meredith Amspoker, Pearl Shen, Teka Gabaldon and Vani Alana Winick; Rafael Perea de la Cabada/Contemporary Painting — Melanie Davis, Ciena Colburn, Logan Kruidewer, Vincent Warne, Vittoria Cutbirth, Zoe Elliott and Alex Rivera; Ron Robertson/Mixed Media — Bridget Young, Rachel Hug, Kimberley Preston, Camille Rohrlich, Chrysanthe Pantages, Jos Gradstein and Mackenzie Hoeckley; and Nevin Littlehale/Basic Bronze Casting — Clayton Brand, Jessica MacFarlane, Will Suttner, Aaron Roberts, Aidan Hogge, Austin Danson, Jean-Dwight Ledbetter and Sylvia Madhow.

The 2011 Teen Mentorship Program is made possible by the generosity of the Brooks Institute, SBCC, the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, The Towbes Foundation, Maryan Schall and Jack Baker. For more information, call The Arts Fund at 805.965.7321.

— Catherine Gee is gallery manager for The Arts Fund.