Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2006

Young artists showcased

December 21, 2006

Sam Wilcox was running out of time for an art assignment last year when he designed his award-winning piece.

"Somebody else was making head (sculptures), so I thought I'd give it a try," the De Soto High School senior said.

His try earned him a first-place award from the 10th annual High School Visual Arts Competition, sponsored by the Merriam Parks and Recreation. For his first-place award, Wilcox was given $150, which he said he would probably spend on art supplies. He also had a graphite drawing accepted for the art show, which is on display in Merriam this month.

Six students had nine pieces accepted for the art show: Kate Beaver, Gene Cosby, Jacob Petty, Danielle Price, Lucas Slater and Wilcox.

Slater, a junior, said he began taking art classes as a home-schooled student from a private teacher. While a freshman, art teacher Tim Mispagel looked at Slater's elementary school art portfolio and decided he was ready for more advanced work.

Slater had two pieces accepted into the Merriam art show, both drawings using conte.

"It's somewhat like chalk but you can blend it like pastel," he said. "I like working with it because it gives me pretty good control."

Most of the students accepted into the art show are in Mispagel's advanced art class this year.

Senior Kate Beaver is already considering an artistic career as an illustrator or animator. She's still deciding between Kansas University and the Kansas City Art Institute.

Beaver also likes to play with different mediums to create artwork. For one of her submissions, she used gouache.

"It's sort of like watercolor, but it's more controllable," she said. "You can use it over and over again."

The awards for the art show were given Dec. 7 during the opening of the Irene B. French Community Center Art Gallery in Merriam. The exhibit will be on display until Dec. 31 and is free to the public.

Out of 350 works submitted by 218 high school students, 105 works were accepted.

In addition, artwork in the show can be viewed on the gallery's Web site,

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