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WHS students put their best on display

Several Woodbury High School students had artwork featured in the Les Farrington Best 100 Juried Art Exhibition, which was held March 6-30 at the AZ Gallery in St. Paul. Back row from left to right: Anthony Doreo, Vieki Thor, Brittany Doughlas, Molly Hamer, Maureen Duthie and Heather Hatfull. Front row, from left to right: Erik Griffin, John Letsche, Emma Jensen, Ellen O’Connell and Jason Bieza. Not pictured: Adam Sicora and Megan Kauffenberg. (Staff photo by Amber Kispert-Smith)

It’s been a busy couple of months for Woodbury High School students.

Not only did a handful of them have artwork featured in the Les Farrington Best 100 Juried Art Exhibition, March 6-30, but students are also gearing up for the annual All School Art Show, which will be April 21 at WHS.

“It’s cool to win something in a big show like Best 100,” said WHS junior John Letsche, “but even going to our art show is neat because it’s cool to see all the art that everyone has created.”

The Best 100

The Best 100, started by the St. Paul Jaycees in 1957, is a chance for St. Paul-area high school students to submit their original artwork to be judged by a panel of three jurors from the art community. 

Judges then selected the “best 100” pieces of artwork to be on display during the art exhibition at the AZ Gallery in St. Paul.

“I definitely felt like an artist going to a gallery opening,” said WHS senior Maureen Duthie.

WHS had 30 pieces of artwork chosen among the 100.

“We love that someone else besides us is telling them that their art is great,” WHS art teacher Karen Seashore said.

Students featured in the Best 100 were: Duthie for ceramics and sculpture, Letsche for senior portfolio, Anthony Doreo for ceramics, Brittany Douglas for ceramics, Molly Hamer for ceramics and sculpture, Heather Hatfull for drawing and senior portfolio, Adam Sicora for graphic design/digital photography, Ellen O’Connel for painting, Erin Griffin, for painting and sculpture, Megan Kauffenber for photography, Emma Jensen for photography and senior portfolio, Jason Bieza for photography and Vieki Thor for photography.

In addition to having their artwork on display, students also received award certificates and some even received cash scholarships, such as Hatfull, a senior, who received a $550 scholarship for her drawing portfolio.

Hamer said she enjoyed seeing how different the art was from one another.

“It was fun to see all the diversity between teaching and styles,” she said.

Letsche said participating in the Best 100 was an exciting experience.

“I thought it was really cool because I’ve never won anything before,” he said. “It was cool to go down to the gallery and actually see your work hanging on the wall.”

All School Art Show

Fresh on the heels of being named some of the “best 100,” WHS students are gearing up for another big art show – the All School Art Show.

The All school Art Show, which will be April 21 starting at 6:30 p.m., will feature artwork by most, if not all, of WHS’ art students.

The art show will feature everything from painting to ceramics to photography to jewelry and everything in between.

Seashore said the show will not only feature nearly 1,000 individual pieces, but the school’s 22 AP studio art students will all have their art portfolios on table displays.

Since the art show is open to all students, not just AP or upperclassmen, many freshmen will be experiencing a juried art show for the first time.

“It boosts your self-confidence as a younger student and inspires you to do more art,” Duthie said.

Several WHS students encourage elementary and middle school students to attend the art show because it will show them “what’s possible with art,” Jensen said.

For Hatfull, she’s excited to see what students are creating outside of AP Studio Art.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what all of the future AP students have created,” she said.

WHS’ All School Art Show isn’t just for appearances though; the art show is also juried and students will be awarded ribbons.

“It will be a surprise for these kids when they walk in to see if they’ve won an award,” Seashore said.

Woodbury High School’s All School Art Show will take place April 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria. An awards ceremony will follow in the auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

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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