|Alexa Snyder, "Cat Got Your Tongue", Glenwood High, Nikki Brawner|
Elise Agne, "Beest Mode", Belleville East, Candice Santos
Jennifer Griggs, "Forever Young", Alton High School, Bridget Heck
|Third Place:||Em Bendet, "IDK", Parkway West, Peg Dunsworth
Renae Weimers, "Winter's Eve", Edwardsville, Kelly Spinka
Sam Bradley, "Minnesota", O'Fallon Twp High School, Denise Currier
Emily Oliver, "Tea Time", Belleville West, Dan Krause
|Fifth Place:||Rebecca Blair, "Simply Me", Parkway West, Marilyn Palmer
Kat Klebenow, "Images of a Wolf", Edwardsville High, Ben Myers
Eileen Milford, "Rhubarb in a Row", Cor Jesu Academy, Mary Jo Clark
Chelsey Sprengeler, "Love, Norman", Belleville West, Dan Krause
Clare Arentzen, "Seamen's Mirage", Glenwood High, Amy Lynn
Kendal Krotz, "Sunday Afternoon", Triad High School, Stephanie Astrauskas
Jessica Kuhn, "In the Arms of an Angel", Triad High School, Stephanie Astrauskas
Andrea Linksey, "Letter Writing", Parkway North, Grant Kniffen
Kimberley Meyenburg, "The Happy Camper", O'Fallon Twp High School, Ben Brooks
Lindsey Miller, "Don't Forget to Remember Me", Mehlville High School, Pat Arant
Katie Warnecke, "Magda", Edwardsville High, Robin Springer
Max Weintraub, "All-American Diner", Mary Institute, Fred Wilson
Caitlin Williams, "Piercing Gaze", Parkway North, Clint Johnson
One of the first art works that caught my attention during the judging was Winter's Eve by Renae Weimers. It is a mysterious, beautifully composed painting in blues, greens and yellows. Sam Bradley's finely drawn Minnesota also has an air of mystery about it that intrigues me. Some of the art simply wowed me. That is the case with Cat Got Your Tongue by Alexa Snyder and Jennifer Griggs' four part Forever Young. Both paintings are stunning pieces.
Craftsmanship, originality, skill and technique in handling the chosen medium, form and composition, color and contrast, and the power of the idea were all considered while making selections for the show, but that description of criteria makes this process seem cold and it doesn't explain everything about a work of art or what was going through my mind as I worked to build the show. I contemplated beauty. I was attracted to boldness as well as sensitivity. I pondered the scale of the work. I was influenced by the presentation. I responded to work that spoke to me and where the subject engaged or even amused me.
For example, I could not resist the humor behind American Maestros by Jacob Cordes which salutes the iconic 20th century painting American Gothic by Grant Wood; nor could I resist including Kimberley Meyenburg's smile inducing clay sculpture The Happy Camper, complete with Christmas lights and palm trees. Katie Warnecke's Magda made me laugh out loud and as a chocolate lover myself, the large and loud Love, Norman by Chelsey Sprengeler made the cut easily.
On the quieter side, Eileen Milford's Rhubarb in a Row is a beautiful still life that conjures for me ideas about my dad and his favorite pie. I was charmed by the tiny ceramic figures in Images of a Wolf by Kat Klebenow. Beest Mode, the intriguingly titled sculpture by Elise Agne demonstrates how important an appropriate and beautiful base can be in the final presentation of a sculpture.
It was my pleasure to serve as juror for the 2009 High School Art Exhibition at SIUE. I was delighted to see the range and quality of work that was entered in the competition, although that made the show all the more challenging to select. There were 159 pieces of art from 22 schools to look at! It was my goal to showcase as wide a variety of art as I could, but it is not surprising that so much of the work in this show is figurative or that painting dominates the walls of the gallery. In the end, eighty one works made the final cut and from that group, I awarded eleven cash prizes for a total of $750 and nine honorable mentions representing twelve different schools.
I'm sure my decisions will not be universally agreed with, but I hope the artists and viewers can enjoy and learn from the exhibition. Congratulations to all the artists. Be kind and listen to your hard working teachers who have guided you to this point. I hope you will continue to make art.
Patricia Vivod graduated from SIUE with a degree in art education and taught high school art for 25 years before returning to SIUE to pursue a graduate degree. Since earning an MFA in printmaking in 2003, she has exhibited her art in over 50 juried shows, invitationals and galleries. Her work has won numerous awards and prizes, the most recent was a Best of Show at Fiber 9, Regional Juried Survey of Contemporary Art in Fiber at the Christopher Art Gallery, Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, Illinois in 2008.
Vivod worked as an adjunct instructor of printmaking and art appreciation at various colleges after graduation, but currently works at her home studio in Troy, Illinois where she divides her time between creating large fiber pieces from organically printed silk, collages, wearable art and jewelry. Her interest in landscapes, maps, family and memories has fueled her art making for several years.