Final high school art fest

Valley City High School’s artists will have one last chance to shine on Thursday at the VCHS Fine Arts Festival.

The exhibition in the school starts at 6 p.m. and comes days after several VCHS art students were honored for their achievements in the Junior Duck Stamp Competition at the state’s annual banquet in Bismarck.
VCHS art instructor Kelly Callahan said as an art instructor, she can only do so much, but her students help teach and motivate each other.

“They push each other, they see what the other students are doing, if they’ve reached their level or a higher level, and they inspire each other.

“That’s what I’m amazed by, every year, whether there’s competition or not I’m always really pleased with the kids work.

“The sad thing about competition is there’s not that many places for winners,” she said.

In the duck stamp competition, freshman Jazzlyn Statema was one of the first place winners for the grade 7-9 division, freshman Alexa McCulloch and senior Tera Laney-Ueker were second place finishers in the 7-9 and 10-12 division, respectively, and freshman Arelle Kruger and senior Taylor Storhoff were third place contestants in their respective divisions.

Felicia Esch, a freshman, beat out over 1,100 other students to win the State Conservation Message.

“I told the kids ‘if you don’t win for your picture, you can win for your message, but it’s a tough one to win because there’s only one.”
“We’ve one the conservation message three times, but I tell the students ‘it’s a long shot’”

Callahan said the message is optional in regards to submitting artwork, but she herself requires it as part of the student’s grade.

“The competition isn’t just about having a duck picture, it’s the whole picture of what the state is trying to do and that awareness; you’re tying in ecology, your tying in science and your tying in art - what we can do to help the environment,” she said.
A major factor in judging the contest is scientific accuracy, and art instructor Carol Foth said biology teacher Randy Toppen has been instrumental in helping the students.
“If we have any questions, we go to Randy,” Foth said.