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13 WHS students featured in Best 100

Once again, Woodbury High School art students have proven that they’re some of the best. 

A total of 13 WHS students were selected to be featured in the Les Farrington Best 100 Juried Art Exhibition. 

The exhibit, sponsored by the St. Paul Area Jaycees, ran throughout the month of March at the AZ Gallery in St. Paul. 

“It’s in an actual gallery, so you can go into the gallery space and see all of the high school work,” WHS senior Ellen O’Connell said. “You get to see all the other schools and all of the other artwork that was created – it’s very inspiring.”

For the exhibit, a panel of judges selected only 100 works of art from St. Paul area high school students. 

WHS had more work on display, 24 pieces, than any other school. 

The students chosen for the exhibit were: Hannah Barbakoff, ceramics; Erik Burt, ceramics; Bethany Caulkins, two ceramic pieces; Emily Gordon, two ceramic pieces; Ryan Hamilton, ceramics; Orvin Pilien, digital drawing; Erin Griffin, six paintings and senior portfolio; Gage Stehura, photography; Meagan Kaufenberg, two photography pieces; Marielle Matea, photography; Kyle Ruppman, photography; Ashley Andrews, sculpture; and Rachel  Younggren, senior portfolio. 

“It’s a huge honor,” Andrews said. “I’ve never gotten something like this before.” 

Several students also received special cash prizes: Caulkins, $50 Merit Award for a ceramic tea set; Kaufenberg, $50 Merit award for photography; O’Connell, $200 Senior Scholarship Award for painting; and Griffin, $1,000 Senior Portfolio Award. 

“It’s nice to be recognized for something that you just love doing anyway,” Caulkins said. “We just do it because we like it.”

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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