In St. Paul, Woodbury’s art is best of allA total of 19 students from Woodbury schools had work chosen to be included in the Best 100 Juried Art Exhibition at the AZ Gallery in St. Paul.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury art students have proven that they’re the best.
A total of 19 students from Woodbury schools had work chosen to be included in the Best 100 Juried Art Exhibition at the AZ Gallery in St. Paul.
Woodbury High School was represented by Alexandra Grupe, Danny Dang, Ellen O’Connell, Emily Anderson, Erik Burt, Evan Henke, Lauren Thompson, Margaret Glime, Nadia Mamun, Nuel Pilien, Rachel Henning, Steven Rocco and Meghan Reilly
Six East Ridge High School students – Joe Johnson, Gwen Riemenschneider, Jamie Rubinsak, Emily Turitto, Elena Wolk and Jen Zku – also have their work on display.
This Best 100, which goes on display through March 31, features the best 100 works of art by St. Paul area public and private schools sponsored by the St. Paul Jaycees.
WHS art teacher Karen Seashore said well over 1,000 pieces were submitted to the competition.
WHS had a total of 27 pieces of art, the most of any St. Paul area school, included in the art show.
Additionally, three WHS students had entire portfolios chosen to be included in the show – Grupe, Henke and Reilly.
Grupe also received a $500 scholarship for her outstanding ceramics and sculpture portfolio.
“I was very proud of these students because they worked very hard,” Seashore said.
Many of the WHS students included in the Best 100 art show are currently enrolled in WHS’ advanced placement studio art class.
The students’ association with art includes starting art as a school requirement, family tradition and even boredom.
“I’ve always liked to draw,” Henke said. “I was always the doodler who never paid attention in class.”
This year’s Best 100 artists dabble in photography, ceramics, painting, drawing and everything in between.
Pilien said he was drawn to photography because it allows him to capture beauty in the world.
“With photography you can show someone something right in front of them, something ordinary, in an impressive new way,” he said.
Henke said drawing is his medium of choice because it allows him to create anything he sees in his head.
“You can draw anything,” he said. “You don’t have to see it in front of you to know what you want to draw.”
For inspiration, several students turn to their everyday lives.
“I just want it to look good and catch your eye more than anything,” Henke said.
The Best 100
As part of her class curriculum, Seashore assigns all her students to submit artwork to various juried art exhibitions to be exposed to that world, she said.
“We try to get kids to submit their work to get out and be viewed by the people and this is just one opportunity,” she said. “We’re excited when some of them have their work praised by people beyond their teachers.”
Seashore said participating in juried art shows like this can be challenging for students since they not only have to choose which of their pieces to submit, but they also have to receive criticism and learn how to handle it.
Reilly said criticism can be difficult, but it’s also a positive.
“You can’t take it to heart,” she said. “The criticism is there to help you get better.”
Seashore said participating in these juried art shows has taught her students to trust in their talents.
“You have to trust your gut feeling,” she said. “When submitting artwork, you have to go with what you think is right.
“You listen to criticism, you take it, but you also listen to yourself and trust your vision.”
The Best 100 Juried Art Exhibition will be on display at the AZ Gallery, 308 Prince Street, St. Paul, through Saturday.