Art students advance to state


Story by Caroline Purtle, co-entertainment editor

The art department sent their art department students to the Feb. 15 annual VASE Competition hosted at Pleasant Grove High School. All Tigers medaled with their pieces, and two artists, sophomore Kip Williams and freshman Alex O’Gorman, were invited to the upcoming state competition at College Station, Texas on April 5.

“[VASE] is an art competition where students can enter one or two pieces with a fee, and then you are interviewed on each of those pieces,” O’Gorman said.

Each submission is scored by a 1-4 scale or an invitation to state.

“One of my pieces got to advance to state,” O’Gorman said. “The other got the highest rating you can get without state acceptance, a four.”

Students had the option of submitting art like sketchings, paintings or three-dimensional sculptures.

“I entered a piece called ‘First Snow’,” Williams said. “It’s an acrylic painting with an abstract background of two ducks flying in on a first snow.”

The judges question each student about their artwork. Interviewed privately about their submissions, the judges get to know the competitor as well as the piece. The total process is more than just visual.

“They ask questions like ‘what made you want to do this piece,’ and ‘what inspired you to make it,’” O’Gorman said.

Distinct criteria includes technique and style, but also touches of personality as well as intimate meaning.

“My winning piece, ‘Heavy Hearted,’ symbolized sadness,” O’Gorman said. “I gave the girl blue eyes with dripping color because I feel like the eyes are the windows to the soul.”

The Tiger contestants are looking at positive prospects with optimistic ambitions in the coming meet.

“I don’t know what to expect from state because I’ve never done this before,” Williams said. “I hope I can win some awards and maybe even get a good selling price for my painting too.”