Art Students Bring Home the Prize

During March, art students competed in the visual Arts Scholastic Event, also known as VASE. 58 students received medals and eight qualified for state.

“I entered VASE because I have always loved art and my passion for art has always been growing. I’ve been doing VASE since freshman year. I’ve put a lot of my passion into it.” junior Hailey Kirkup, a state qualifier, said.

VASE allows students to create big, meaningful pieces, that they feel they can enter into a competition.

“I had two big pieces, one of them was a portrait of myself and one of them was a picture of a building under construction. They’re both acrylic.” senior Vasi Bjeletich, a state qualifier, said.

VASE requires several weeks of work outside of school to make a good project.

“This one that won I was sitting at my kitchen table just working on it. Everyday after school I would just sit there and have my paints set up on the kitchen table, just painting like a madman. I used a lot of tubes of paint.” Bjeletich said.

VASE is more than just a competition, students get to come together and be around other students who love art as much as they do.

“I really like spending time with a group of artistic students all around me because they’re really nice people and it’s fun to go and do these events where you get to know everyone better and people talk about things they’re passionate about and it’s just very friendly and warm and inviting.” senior Jade Howe, state squalifer, said.

VASE allows for a wide variety of art styles to be submitted, anything from acrylic paints to 3D art.

The state qualifying piece made by Kirkup. Photo from @dshsvisual on Instagram.

“Me and my mom like to metal detect. We like get these relics and with these relics I kinda form an animal. This year I used railroad ties and railroad spikes to like shape a buffalo’s face and then after I glue that to a piece of wood I paint it with acrylic paint and then there it is.” Kirkup said.

Each piece has to have a meaning behind it to showcase the thought thats goes into each piece of art.

“I’m actually doing this series where I’m focusing on portraits of animals that are being hunted for game because I think it’s sad how some people kill animals just to mount them on the wall It’s totally cool if you’re gonna, you know, use the meat and use the body, but a lot of people just kill the animal for their body as like a prize or a trophy. I kinda wanted to bring awareness almost.” Kirkup said.

Becoming a state qualifier is a dream for all participants, and many having been working for years, like Bjeletich.

“That’s huge to me. That’s been my goals since freshman year. I had a piece last year that I thought could make it and then it didn’t. So it feels like extra good to have a piece finally go after so long of trying and it makes me feel really like validated in my work. It makes me more proud of my work.” Bjeletich said.

Though some work to go to state, others, like Howe, just want to make something that they can feel proud of, just because of how much she loves art.

“It’s very important to me. It’s been in my life for so long, I don’t know what I would be doing if I wasn’t creating stuff. I don’t know where I’d find myself, what I find myself occupied by.” Howe said.

To all three woman, art is more than what we think of, but rather anything anyone wants to make, and can make if they put their mind to it.

“It doesn’t have to be realistic and it doesn’t have to be refined and it doesn’t have to be with expensive materials, it doesn’t have to be pretty, and it doesn’t have to go up to any standard,” Howe said, “Anyone can make anything they want and it can be art.”

By Cady Russell, Staff Writer

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