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Advancing through art

A total of 15 Woodbury High School students have received Minnesota Scholastic Arts Awards. Winning artwork will be on display this month at the Perpich Center for Arts Education. (Submitted photo)

Woodbury High School students have once again proven their aptitude for art.

A total of 15 students earned Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards in this year’s competition.

The Scholastic Art Awards represents Minnesota’s largest statewide opportunity to recognize creative and artistic teenagers.

Judges look at quality, imagination, creativity, personal vision and uniqueness.

The contest is open to all Minnesota students in grades 7-12.

Students are awarded Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention awards for individual work or art portfolios.

The WHS students who received awards are: Anthony Doreo, Gold Key for ceramics portfolio and individual ceramics work; Maureen Duthie, Gold Key and Honorable Mention in ceramics; Erin Griffin, two Gold Keys for painting; Heather Hatfull, Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention for drawing; Meagan Kaufenberg, Gold Key in photography; Ellen O’Connell, two Gold Keys in painting, two Silver Keys for photography and one Honorable Mention for painting; Kyle Ruppman, Gold Key in drawing; Allyson Christenson, Silver Key for photography; Dan Ehle, Silver Key in photography; Sophie Gleekel, two Silver Keys in photography; Alex Gustafson, Silver Key for ceramics; Abby Christenson, Honorable Mention in ceramics; Carley Engfer, Honorable Mention for ceramics; Molly Hamer, for Honorable Mention in ceramics and Eddie Rudie, Honorable Mention in photography.

All but three of the winning students are enrolled in the WHS advanced placement studio art class, art teacher Karen Seashore said. As part of the class, students are required to submit at least one piece.

“It shows not only their skill,” Seashore said of the students, “but also their creativity.”

All winning artwork will be on display during a free exhibit at the Perpich Center for Arts Education now through Feb. 22.

All Gold Key recipients will have their artwork entered into a national competition.

Going for the gold

For many students, art represents a release of sorts.

“Art is a good stress relief,” WHS senior Anthony Doreo said. “It kind of breaks your day up. It allows you to be creative and open your mind.”

WHS senior Heather Hatfull agreed.

“It’s really fun to have a release,” she said. “You can shift your focus from academic headaches to expressing yourself.”

For some students, art has been a lifelong love, while others just found it recently.

“I guess I’ve always been artsy,” WHS junior Erin Griffin said.

“I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil,” Hatfull said.

WHS students love art for a number of different reasons – it’s relaxing, it’s a release – but it’s the ability to be creative that seems to be the tie that binds.

“I really liked being in the ceramics room and using clay to create something in your mind and making it into something real,” Duthie said.

“When it comes to drawing, I like tricking people into thinking it’s a photograph,” Hatfull said.

Receiving awards from this year’s Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards was rewarding for students.

“It’s really exciting when you work really hard on something and it gets recognized,” Griffin said.

“It proves that your effort is worth the time it takes,” O’Connell said.

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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