by Lorrie Ham
Once again, Mound Westonka High School was well represented at the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards. For the second year in a row, two MWHS artists earned individual Gold Key Awards for artistic excellence. Two students also earned Silver Keys, and two received Honorable Mention recognition.
The Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards are a statewide regional affiliation of the National Scholastic Art Awards program, recognizing many of the state’s most creative teenagers. The competition is open to all Minnesota students grades 7-12.
This year, 1,849 individual works of art and 164 portfolios were submitted by schools around the state, which was up 500 from 2012. The jury awarded 183 Gold Keys for individual entries this year. MWHS junior Carly Koch was honored with a Gold Key Award for her work A Moment Without Cancer. Senior Jessica Novack also won a Gold Key for her drawing Aunt Ruth.
Digital images of their pieces will continue on to the national competition in New York.
“Artworks that received Gold Keys in each state move on to the national competition,” MWHS art teacher Laura Hensley said. “These works will be digitally reviewed in New York City by panels of nationally renowned artists, art professionals and arts educators. Jurors select work for national recognition based on originality, technique and emergence of a personal vision.”
MWHS senior Katey Nelson and junior Leah Pinault received two of the 186 Silver Keys awarded for individual entries this year. Nelson won a Silver Key for her sculpture Purse, and Pinault was awarded for her drawing Uncle. Two of the 340 pieces receiving Honorable Mention awards were senior Victoria Perry’s work Split in Half and junior Luke Ramacier’s drawing Lil Bro Portrait.
“The Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards is one of the most competitive and highly-respected art competitions in our state," Hensley said. "I am thrilled that this year, for the second time since I’ve been teaching, two of our students won Gold Keys; and, for the second year in a row, MWHS has six MSAA winners."
Koch and Novack’s pieces will be on exhibit along with the other Gold Key Award-winning art at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul from Feb. 7 to March 3. In addition, Gold Key awarded students, along with their families and teachers, are invited to receive their awards at the MSAA Gold Key Award Ceremony March 3 at the Minnesota History Center.
Silver Key and Merit awarded students will be represented in the exhibition with a digital slideshow. Additionally, digital images of all awarded works from the state of Minnesota will be included in the MSAA Flickr Gallery, online starting Feb. 7.
“I continue to be so proud of the level that our MWHS students are creating at, and I’m pleased that their success in this year’s MSAA allows our district to shine at the state and national level once again," Hensley said.