Six Best of Show winners of the annual University of Wisconsin-Richland High School Art exhibit were announced Saturday, April 12. Eddie Villanueva, UW-Richland art instructor, artist and judge of the show, selected the six from among 37 entries. Those earning top honors are:
- Olivia Katieb, Youth Initiative High School in Viroqua, for Untitled – Graphite;
- Tamara Knight, Lancaster High School, Dolphin Dive - 3D Drywall Free Form;
- Stevie Ring, River Valley High School, Misplaced Beauty - Mixed Media;
- Abby Rothering, Weston High School, Night Leopard - Scratch Board;
- Lea Scheffczik, Riverdale High School, Music is Passion – Graphite; and
- Mary Schwartz, Richland Center High School, Untitled - Color Pencil.
During the awards ceremony, Villanueva spoke about the qualities that each of the works showed that allowed them to stand out from the group. "Art helps us see the world, exercises our ability to communicate, builds confidence and fortifies a sense of self. . . the six chosen works exemplify all of these great qualities, while also showing the promise of continued research," he said.
Best in Show award-winners will have their work displayed at the Red Door Gallery, 148 West Court Street in Richland Center through April 25. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. Winners are also invited to exhibit their winning entries at the Wisconsin Regional Art Association’s state-wide exhibit next fall. One of this year’s winners, Stevie Ring, won Best of Show at the State Teen Artist Mentoring Program exhibit. Her work from last year was pictured on the posters and programs for this year's show.
More than 70 guests--from Arena, Blue River, Boscobel, Gotham, Hillpoint, Hillsboro, Lancaster, Muscoda, Plain, Readstown, Richland Center, Spring Green, Viroqua, Westby and Weston--participated in the closing ceremony. UW-Richland CEO/Dean Dr. Patrick Hagen surprised the crowd with the announcement that a $500 scholarship has been established through the UW-Richland Scholarship Program. Students whose work is chosen for the annual high school art exhibit will be eligible to apply for this new award, the UW-Richland/Richland Area Artists Coalition Scholarship, to start their college education at UW-Richland.
Coordinator and artist/art teacher Mary Kay Olson welcomed everyone, thanked teachers, parents and students. Her message to the students focused on their ability to use higher order thinking skills that allow them to think "outside the box—just what employers are searching for.” She commended student participants, saying, “Their fluid use of visualizing, analyzing and synthesizing are important to seeing the changes needed in this world, determining how change can be made, and implementing improvements using resources that will be creative and practical. Wherever these creative students choose to live and work, they will be valuable.”
Originator and past coordinator of exhibit Gene Summers was recognized and surprised by a gift from the Richland Area Arts Council of a handmade bowl created by artist John Frawley.
For more information about the exhibit, contact organizer Mark Kay Olson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (414) 852-3133; or Villanueva by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling (608) 647-6186, Extension 252.