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Sculpting his success

Maddie Wade Miles Wangensteen Brody Steineck, Ambarish Saungikar and Taylor Champoux all were part of the Best 100 art exhibition. Three other students, not pictured, also had work on display: Matt Miller, Brady Johnson, and Jill Norton. Staff photo by Amber Kispert

Students are often times compared to balls of clay that need to be shaped and molded by their parents, teachers, peers and their experiences. For one Woodbury High School student, senior Brody Steineck, he likes to do the molding and shaping -- of clay that is.

"I like clay because you can do anything," he said. "The possibilities are endless --you can create anything."

Steineck, along with seven other students -- Maddie Wade, Matt Miller, Miles Wangensteen, Ambarish Saungikar, Taylor Champoux, Jill Norton, and Brady Johnson -- were chosen to be part of Saint Paul Jaycee's 52nd Annual Les Farrington Best 100 Juried Art Exhibition at the AZ Gallery in St. Paul now through March 29.

Best 100 is a juried art show for all St. Paul high schools which picks the best 100 student submissions from 21 schools and over 1,000 submissions to be on display.

In addition to be chosen as one of the "Best 100," Steineck's art piece was also named best ceramic piece within the Best 100 show.

"I didn't even know there was going to be any awards until I got there and they called my name," he said, I just love having my work on display, that's fun."

Steineck entered the Best 100 with the encouragement of his ceramics teachers, Tricia Schmidt.

"He's one of the most creative kids I've had," she said. "He's able to do the technical stuff second nature, and his creativity is what sets him apart from a lot of the students we have here. He just comes up with ideas in a very unique way -- he really thinks outside the box."

Steineck's artistic talent stems from his family roots, both is father and brother have artistic drive.

"My dad's always been an artsy guy," he said. "And my brother, he does everything."

Steineck said he landed on ceramics about six years ago after realizing that it was his true calling.

"I can draw, but I'm not a really detailed drawer I guess, and painting just doesn't work for me," he said. "But I like clay and I'm better at it."

The places that Steineck looks for inspiration includes anything that happens to catch his eye.

"I get inspiration from everything ever, everything I see," he said. "Sometimes I'll just be sitting home in bed and see something and think that's what I'm gonna do."

Steineck said he's unsure what his future holds, he's unsure if he even wants to pursue ceramics on its own, but he does want to maintain some connection to art.

"I would like to tie something that makes money with art," he said. "I don't want to do business or art but I want to mix them -- we'll see what happens."

Schmidt is confident in Steineck's ability to succeed in wherever his life takes him, but hopes that his gift doesn't end up forgotten.

"I hope he doesn't lose sight of his art talent," she said. "It may not be a career but hopefully a lifelong passion."

Steineck's work and his classmates work can be viewed now through March 29, Fridays from 5-8 p.m., Saturday and Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the AZ Gallery located in the Northern Warehouse Building at 308 Prince Street, #130 in St. Paul.

Steineck and his fellow WHS artists will also have their artistic creations on display at the WHS All-School Art Show on March 24 from 6-8 p.m. in the cafeteria.

Nearly a thousand works of 2D and 3D art will be on display.

Guest judges from the school and community will choose award winning works of art in the areas of painting, sculpture, ceramics, crafts, drawing, graphic design and photography. There will also be several special portfolio awards for the best overall body of work.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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