Art students compete in annual contest


Story by Colton Johnson, staff writer

Legs bounce uncontrollably, and exaggerated sighs echo throughout the crowded building. Everyone sits on edge, behind the doors, waiting to see whose art would be advancing to state.

“Everyone around [us] was saying to [themselves] that even if they didn’t advance, they were still exceptional artists” said sophomore Savannah Kennedy.

In an instant, the door finally opens, and the mob of art enthusiasts hastily rush towards the entrance. People begin pouring through the doorway, and eyes frantically search the room for their masterpiece.

On Saturday, February 27, hundreds of young artists participated in VASE, an art competition for students in the region 8 district. Students are required to create an original piece of art, and are judged on execution, technique, principles of design, and an interview with the judge.

“It’s good to talk about my art with someone who knows what I’m talking about,” senior Alex Iveroth said. “They give constructive criticism to help improve our art in the future.”

Although many students entered the competition hoping to advance to state, only a small percentage of the pieces that were entered ended up advancing. Junior Rylie Power and Freshman Aiden Lockeby of Texas High both had pieces that are advancing.

“I was convinced mine wasn’t gonna make it,” Power said. “So when I walked in, I almost had a heart attack. It was a shock because while it’s not my first time winning something for art, it is my first time going to state.”

Power and Lockeby both went up against many magnificent art pieces, some of which scored perfectly on the judging sheets. However when it comes down to it, art is a risky business which has to appeal to one’s individual taste at the end of the day.

“They like more mixed media and rustic styles, but I am glad I stuck with my own style because I came to see what they thought of my style opposed to giving them what they usually like,” Iveroth said. “If I’m going to win a contest, I want to do it based on my own merits.”

While not everyone can advance to state, there are of course many artworks that are indeed worthy of some recognition.

“Every other piece was amazing, and I still can’t believe mine made it,”  Lockeby said.“Everyone did so well at the competition.”

It not only gives students a chance to win awards for their art, it also lets them see other people’s art and allow themselves to improve.

“I love seeing everyone else’s work outside of my school,” sophomore Karissa Smith said. “I get to see the various things they do with the level of skill they have to interpret art in different ways, and it helps me to see that there’s more than one way to do things. There’s no good or bad there’s just different way of looking at different things.”

VASE is a unique competition for our community, it is the only time throughout the year that artists have a chance to make their work be seen and see other people’s masterpieces.

“It’s the only big competition we have,”  Smith said. “It’s the only time our art is really showcased and appreciated.”

This problem can be solved. For instance, if the school hung art throughout the school or placed pieces on art easels and take pride in the students’ art as Pleasant Grove does, not only would it add color to the blank walls of the campus, but it would also allow the artists to have something to finally be proud of.

“There were these guys walking by my art on the ground at the competition, and they were like ‘woah look at that’ and that’s what makes it worth it,”  Iveroth said.

Artists deserve to showcase their pieces to be seen and admired by many, for it is appreciation that motivates them to continue making beautiful things.

“True art doesn’t necessarily have to prove anything, or make someone feel a certain emotion,” Lockeby said. “True art comes from the heart.”