MHS art show puts spotlight on students’ artistic talents

One of the more difficult questions asked the winners of the Maryville High School Fine Arts Showcase recently was how much the artists would charge for their works. The individuals concerned were asking because people had already made inquiries about prices for the pieces.

The students may have been surprised that art lovers were interested in purchasing their work, but the teachers weren’t. The quality of the student work had even faculty interested in hanging the works in the school or at their homes.

The Showcase featured the juried work from 17 art classes representing more than 360 students, said art teacher Raquel Roy. Students could submit artwork to be juried into the showcase and then judged for prizes in several categories.

In addition to the winners chosen by the judges, the teachers also provided awards for Faculty Choice, Students Choice, Principals’ Pick and Very Special Art, for a student in special education classes.

“I’m thrilled with the art,” said Roy. “We’re so glad so many students are interested in art. If you have items hung in this show, you should consider it an honor. You should consider yourself the best of the best.”

Roy said she was impressed with this year’s entries. “The quality of items from last year to this year is vastly improved,” she said.

The winner of Principals’ Pick was Josh Woodrin. Ashley Allen won the Faculty Vote. A Very Special Art award was won by Katie Connor.

In the Art I category which involved mostly freshmen and sophomores, judges picked Rene Breiner as third place winner; Molly Arnold won second and Bethany Slaughter took first with “Quiet.”

In the Advanced category, which involved upper level drawing, painting and print making, Thomas Finn was third; Ethan LeCroy was second; and Braden Wenndt was first with “St. Basile’s Cathedral.”

In the 3-D category, Stacy English was first with “Edward.” In the open category that included photography, Carolyn Bowen was third, Jacob Snyder was second and Vera Aldridge was first with “Juarez Afternoon.”

Best of Show winner was Brad Fisher with the painting “Radishes.”

The contestants were given certificates as well as cash in the juried categories. First place won $50, second place $25 and third place $15.

Roy thanked teachers and volunteers for their efforts. Vickie Lee helped matte all the work that was hung. Ms. Karen Fisher helped collect all the prize money, she said.

Vera Aldridge, a junior, said her photographs were taken while she was on a missions trip in Mexico. The children she saw captivated her. “They photographed amazingly. They were very photogenic,” she said. “I had my camera charged everyday.”

While one image showed a youngster staring back into her lenses, her winner was a shot of sunlight shining through Coca-Cola bottles. “I arranged them, and the light hit them just right,” she said.

Aldridge said she planned to go to art school. “If photography doesn’t work out, maybe graphic design,” she said.

Fisher, a sophomore, said it took a long time to complete his painting “Radishes.” “It was my whole center of concern during class,” he said.

Fisher said he’s interested in architecture and while he enjoys art classes, he’ll probably major in architecture or engineering. “I’m not sure yet,” he said.

How well her painting turned out surprised Bethanie Slaughter, 9th grade. “I never thought it would turn out as good as it did,” she said. Bethany said she would one day like to study to be an art therapist. “That’s what I really want to do,” she said.

Braden Wenndt, a junior, said he was proud of his entry. “It took me three weeks to make it,” he said. “I thought it was the best thing I had done.”

Stacy English won first in the 3-D division and said her creation, a snail, took three hours to make and another two to fire in the kiln and then it had to be painted. “I took it as a challenge to make a good snail,” she said.

English said she planned to pursue art in college. “I’m not sure what I’ll do with my degree but it will be in art,” she said.

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