There are new shows happening at WAM and the Ulrich right now that I will be seeing soon, but the biggest exhibit on my must-see list this week was the Scholastic Art Awards, currently showing at the Mark Arts.
The annual show, which turns 100 this year, features paint, clay, photography, print, and mixed media works by high school students from across the state. As students create work in school art classes throughout the year, their teachers look for the best work and suggest that they participate. After entry, the works are then judged by art professors and professional artists. Winners receive coveted silver and gold key awards.
I remembered putting in several pieces when I was in high school, works suggested by my beloved art teacher at Wichita East High, Annie Lowry. About Her Her praise of my work has meant the world to me and she has set me on the path to becoming the artist I am today.
Among my favorite works in this exhibit were the many clay works by students of celebrated clay artist and teacher Brenda Lichman, who also happens to teach in Wichita East. The imagination and technical skill in these works are amazing.
As you look at the many works you realize that these students have poured everything they have into each piece. The heart, and some innocence in each work is beautifully evident. You remember how exciting and huge and daunting life was at that age and how every victory was colossal.
The importance of such an event carries weight far beyond a silver or gold key award.
The Scholastic Art Awards, now on display at Mark Arts.