More than 275 works of art made by almost 100 high school students highlighted the Central Kansas League Art Festival at McPherson College April 25.
Each school was allowed only 10 student participants. In addition, artwork brought to show can only be from those students. Each school could bring a total of 30 pieces of artwork, an average of three per individual.
Hillsboro was represented by nine students: sophomores Abigail Shope and Erin Wiebe, junior Meghan Leihy and seniors Katie Kliewer, Amy Bartel, Courtney Weber, Meredith Lamkin, Katie Prichard and Lexie Kruse.
The festival was a whirlwind of activity, as high school students’ work from around the area was displayed, judged and taken down in less than a day.
Media included paint, sculpture, photography, pencil and even two movies.
Three Hillsboro students earned recognition from judge Marsha Shrack, art instructor and gallery director at Pratt Community College: Meredith Lamkin received a gold medal for “Faces of Society”; Erin Wiebe received honorable mention for an untitled marker/colored pencil piece; and Amy Bartel receive honorable mention for an untitled colored-pencil piece.
While on campus, the students also took one of six workshops on subjects such as wheel-thrown pottery, computer graphics and copper enameled jewelry.
This is the second year McPherson College has hosted the festival.
Bartel, a senior at HHS, said the substantive and unique workshops were her favorite part of the festival.
“When you come to an art event, you should do art, not just look at art,” Bartel said.
Shrack perhaps had the hardest job during the day. It was her responsibility to rate the work and name the best pieces among the more than 275 at the show.
“It’s very difficult to judge art,” she said. “Even though there are standards to judge by, it’s like judging a fruit bowl and judging grapes against apples. There is just such a variation and so many styles. All of them are good, but which ones are best?
“It never ceases to surprise me what they come up with. It’s always fresh, it’s always fun to see student artwork.”
Dustin Dalke, HHS art instructor, said: “This is the second year that we have had the great privilege of holding our event at McPherson College. Previously, our event would roam from school to school. This year would have been in Pratt, and thank goodness it wasn’t due to the lengthy travel.”