A name. It means everything. It can get you better seats, access to elite groups, and even wads of cash. These kids don’t care. Right now, at this moment, for the first time in their life, many of them are making their own name. Somebody will remember them, and not for whom their parents or grandparents were. They have arrived. This is their moment.
The 40th Annual All-State High School Art Show has almost begun. The last paintings are being hung, sculptures placed, lighting adjusted and placards printed. 93 high schools from all over Utah are represented. Public, private, religious and charter school students have submitted their best pieces to compete against their peers. 966 entries were accepted, and 345 have been hand chosen by the “jurors” to be displayed at the Springville Museum of Art. Jurors include previous winners, graduates from various world art institutes, and experts in multiple media types.
For athletes, state championships mean the difference between walking on and getting a scholarship to the university of their choosing. Art students feel that same pressure too. Earlier in January, the Springville Museum of Art hosted Senior Portfolio Day. Fifteen colleges from the region gathered to see what Utah’s finest had to offer. A day like that results in thousands of dollars in financial aide and scholarships. This can mean the difference between a continued hobby and a lifetime vocation for these aspiring seniors.
Each year, the Governor hosts the winners at the State Capitol for dinner and a banquet. The evening is highlighted with the Governor’s Declaration, which usually recognizes the State of Utah’s pride and dedication to supporting the talents and educators in the visual arts programs.
The artwork includes everything from paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, photography and prints. Drawings are more prevalent than any other media. Students choose drawings because of the accessibility of the materials and the introduction to the methods are the easiest to learn. Previous winners have gone on to study architecture in NYC, become leaders in prestigious art groups, and to educate today’s blossoming youth. Winners will be announced on March 10 at
11 a.m. at the Springville Museum of Art. Seventy awards are up for grabs. It’s sure to be a morning of sweaty palms and salivating palates.
Dr. Virgil Jacobsen, Assistant Director & Curator of Education, is a great advocate for the continual growth and funding of the arts programs in Utah schools. Statewide Art Partnership (SWAP) provides tools and classes for teachers and students to maintain arts programs in schools. Many colleges and universities throughout Utah, including the City of Springville and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, are vital in appropriating funds needed for this program.
The Museum of Art hosted Evenings for Educators recently to give art teachers more training to refine methods to implement in the classroom. The Museum of Art also works in the classrooms at all grade levels to help develop interest and knowledge of the visual arts programs. ArtTalks programs are vital to the initial stages of a child’s confidence and interest in visual arts.
“A lot of the programs succeed,” said Dr. Jacobsen. “A lot of it depends on the quality of the teachers and the quality of the instruction.” Jacobsen also stressed the “importance of original composition.”
The Springville Museum of Art is a wonderful venue for such an inspiring event. Talent you may never see again, and artists you may yet grow accustomed to and fond of will have their works on display for you soon. See for yourself why this has become one of the western United States premiere art contests. Admission is free, and the art may soon be priceless.
By Collin Lawrence
State Capitol Ceremony
Exhibit Final Day