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Students receive awards at Scholastic Art competition

Senior+Clare+Fallon%27s+piece+titled+%22The+Impoverished+Collector%22+was+one+of+her+two+American+Visions+Nominees.
Senior Clare Fallon's piece titled

Senior Clare Fallon's piece titled "The Impoverished Collector" was one of her two American Visions Nominees.

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Senior Clare Fallon's piece titled "The Impoverished Collector" was one of her two American Visions Nominees.

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16 Washburn Rural students won a total of 37 awards in the 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition.

Winners have their art displayed in an exhibit in Wichita at the Mark Art Center beginning Jan. 29. The awards ceremony will be held on March 5.

Seniors Clare Fallon and Emma Hixson both received several distinguished awards for their art.

Hixson is excited to have had the opportunity to showcase her art.

“I entered quite a few pieces that I’ve done,” Hixson said. “I entered some prints that I made, I entered some of my paintings, I entered a mixed-media piece and I entered some drawings.”

Hixson won two Gold Key Awards, as well as a Silver Key Award. She accredits her success to her ability to express emotion in her art.

“I entered a mixed media piece called ‘Emotional Vulnerability’ and it is my favorite piece,” Hixson said. “I spent about a week on it. I put a good 20 hours into it. I would work on it after work. It is  really an emotional piece and seeing that win a Gold Key award was a really big accomplishment, because I had spent so much time on it.”

It is really an emotional piece and seeing that win a Gold Key award was a really big accomplishment”

— Senior Emma Hixson

Art teacher Brad LeDuc said he is very proud of his students.

“I think one of the best parts of the show this year was seeing a lot of students at Washburn Rural do well,” LeDuc said. “It is always a great experience to see students put a lot of time and effort into something.”

Two of Fallon’s paintings were nominated for the American Visions Award. She was also presented with 11 Gold Key awards.

The American Visions Award is the “Best of Show” award. Out of over 2100 pieces, only the top five art pieces were chosen to receive this prestigious honor, and Fallon received two of these five awards.

“It was surprising,” Fallon said. “Getting two out of five feels pretty good.”

Fallon said she worked hard on the pieces she entered, but felt strongly towards one in particular.

“I did a piece of my friend [senior] Noor [Kyasa], who is Muslim, and it was a political statement piece,” Fallon said. “I thought that was my strongest piece and it did not get into the National Kansas Nominee, but I still think the message I sent was received by the judges and I think the message was more important to me than the painting itself.”

Hixson and Fallon both dedicate a great deal of time and energy into their art. Yet, they attribute their achievement to the Washburn Rural art program.

“Mr. LeDuc is probably one of the most influential people in my life,” Hixson said. “Ever since freshman year he has been there for me and encouraged me to create art. Everyday he inspires us to become better artists, and he teaches us all the things we need to be successful at art and have a career in it someday. Everyday when I go to art class I become a better artist because I get to connect with the other art students and Mr. LeDuc.”

LeDuc is passionate about the success of his students.

It’s a good way to see how their work measures up to other students that have similar passions in the state of Kansas”

— Art teacher Brad LeDuc

“I think it’s also extremely beneficial for students to see what they’re capable of,” LeDuc said. “A lot of times, winning an award at Scholastic Art is kind of an ‘ah-ha’ moment for a student; [it is] when they really look at themselves in the mirror and say ‘wow I’m pretty talented and I’m capable of great things.’ It’s a good way to see how their work measures up to other students that have similar passions in the state of Kansas.”

Hixson said the she enjoys expressing herself through art.

“My favorite part about art is the feeling I get when I make it,” Hixson said. “ It is something I do to unwind, and also a way to get my emotions out on a physical surface. It is a way to get to express yourself. You can put yourself out there into a piece of art that people can look at some of your most inner emotions or how you feel about something.”

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The student news site of Washburn Rural High School
Students receive awards at Scholastic Art competition