A Look Into the Arts

The Emerson Young Artists’ Showcase is a juried exhibition of artwork created by high school students within 150 miles of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild.

This years showcase was juried by Margaret Keller, a Professor of Art at St. Louis Community College. Her most recent work was “Riverbend”, an aluminum artwork installed at the Gateway Arch.

In her Juror’s Statement, Keller highlighted her criteria for assessing the artwork submitted.

“Art that wove together content, personal expression, and competence is what was included here in this exhibition” said Keller.

For Keller, it was especially important that each piece was meaningful and had a meaning unique to each artist. Craftsmanship was also considered, but Keller stressed that creative vision was what mattered to her.

When it came to which pieces to submit, the process varied among the art teachers. Some left the process of deciding which pieces deserved a chance at the showcase up to their students, while for AP Studio art students, submission was a requirement.

Two students who were juried into the show received prizes. Erionna Garner received an Honorable Mention and $25 for her piece, “Self-Portrait” and Marley Durham’s “Alice” received the Clay and Eugene Jordan Award, along with a cash prize of $100. Her piece was submitted by Laura Brugere, who had a feeling that it would win.

“I believe that her love for her pet ferret, Alice, was put into that piece, and you could see it. Due to her passion and her creativity of that piece… I just had a really good feeling for her” said Brugere.

Overall, it’s clear that the many students at Mehlville went above and beyond Keller’s standards. Mehlville art students occupied 21 out of 125 available spots at the showcase, making up 17 percent of the gallery. Many of the art teachers feel that this credit is largely due to the students.

“We’re all working really hard as teachers to push you guys, and hold the bar high. We also just have really good kids at Mehlville that are willing to put in the extra time and effort and take risks” said Emily Wehling.

Rachel Moredock posing next to her prize-winning picture. Photo Courtesy of Laura Brugere

Another art show was going on was The Annual Juried Regional High School Exhibition. This exhibition is limited to juniors and seniors within a 50 mile radius of Edwardsville. Here, junior Rachel Moredock won third place with a photograph of her grandfather.

“I missed it when she turned it in. I didn’t notice the photograph until later on when I collected them all… It really spoke to you. When you look at it it’s just very powerful. You can feel the emotion in the entire work of art” said Jessica Riddle, photography teacher.

No one can deny that this past month has been eventful for Mehlville art department. With more shows to come, it may not be the end. Although the exhibition at SIUE has come to a close, the Emerson Young Artists’ Showcase will remain open until March 30.