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Marquette high school art teacher Melissa Wilson, left, and student Haley Downs with her People’s Choice Award piece, “Gentle Giant”.

STLCC-Wildwood’s Eco-Art Exhibit Honors Top-Level Talent from Local High Schools

Pacific High School student Kenny Flaten received the overall first place award for his artwork, “The Flower Series.”

Dozens of students from five local high schools showcased their artistic talents in St. Louis Community College-Wildwood’s 10th annual Eco-Art Exhibit, March 5-9.

The juried art show, “Sustainability: It’s An Art,” featured two- and three-dimensional artwork that speaks to an environmental consciousness in either the theme of the artwork or the materials used in its creation.

According to Mark Weber, professor of art and department chair at Wildwood, the Eco-Art Exhibit is unique in that it features the top 10 pieces of artwork from each high school. Every piece that makes it into the show has already been juried at the high school. In addition, each piece varies in both the materials used and the subjects featured.

“STLCC-Wildwood’s Eco-Art Exhibit encourages high school students to take a global look at how art can improve our lives,” Weber said. “Since the show is open media, students have the flexibility to choose which materials they want to use to express themselves. From cardboard and plastic, to aluminum, wood, paint, photographs and more, it’s always exciting to see what they create.”

Marquette high school art teacher Melissa Wilson, left, and student Haley Downs with her People’s Choice Award piece, “Gentle Giant”.

Since the campus hosted its first Eco-Art Exhibit in 2009, a professional artist has always been invited to juror the show. This year’s juror was Joan Pirtle-Oakley, Ed.D., director of gifted education for the Rockwood School District. She previously served as a teacher for elementary art, advanced placement studio art, painting, drawing, ceramics and graphic design in the Parkway and Rockwood school districts.

On March 9, the campus hosted students and their families for a reception and awards ceremony. Along with presenting awards to the overall winners, Pirtle-Oakley recognized first-, second- and third-place winners from each school. Visitors also had the opportunity to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Prior to presenting the awards, Pirtle-Oakley commended the students for their work and encouraged them to pursue their passion for art.

“As artists, being judged is hard, but you have to keep putting yourself out there,” she said. “In viewing your work, I was touched by your artist statements and I was astounded by the level of thought you put into the process. You should all be very proud of what you have created.”

The winners were:

Overall
First place: Kenny Flaten, Pacific High School
Second place: Natalie Leach, Marquette High School
Third place: Chase Baker, Eureka High School

People’s Choice Award
Haley Downs, Marquette High School

High School Winners
Eureka
First place: Olivia Short
Second place: Chase Baker
Third place: Courtney St. John

Jefferson
First place: Dylan Rose
Second place: Alex Steller
Third place: Sundus Malik

Lafayette
First place: Emily Reid
Second place: Lily Cooper
Third place: Laura Champion

Marquette
First place: Heidi Anderson
Second place: Jora Wang
Third place: Natalie Leach

Pacific
First place: Kenny Flaten
Second place: Parker Glass
Third place: Kaitie Adkins

For more information about the exhibit, contact Weber at mweber@stlcc.edu or 636-422-2000.