Art Competition Advances Students to State

By Samantha Sanburn
Seniors Ashley Martin, Sylvia Gutierrez, and Edwin Calderon will all be honored on Feb. 22 for their advancement to a state wide art competition to be held in April. These students tirelessly worked to put their blood, sweat and tears into masterpieces that showcase their thoughts, hopes, dreams, sorrows, and ideas.
It all came together at VASE (Visual Arts Scholarship Event), an event where students were to create a piece of art, using any medium they choose and showcase it in a competitive setting. They were required to speak to a judge and explain their piece at the event Feb. 11 at Marshall High School.
Martin created a piece of jewelry with an inspiration close to her heart, Calderon drew things that brought him joy, and Gutierrez’s artwork was less of a thought-out process and more of a spur-of-the-moment wonder.
“[My inspiration] was just from my high school experience. I made a promise to a friend and I wanted to hold onto it. It gave me hope,” Martin said.
Her inspiration and presentation rewarded her with a perfect score.
“All of these pieces originally started out as just class assignments but because people put their souls and interests into it, it stood out,” Martin added.

A masterpiece that also stood out was a color photograph by Sylvia Gutierrez, of a bluebird.

“I went to the zoo and saw the bird. I got close to it and saw it puff up. It was about to fly away,” Gutierrez said. “I got scared because I knew it was about to take flight and then… click.”

Calderon competed two pieces, a prismacolor Western drawing and a pen drawing of a puppy. His biggest inspiration for his puppy drawing came from his own pet.

“My inspiration for my puppy drawing was just the joyfulness I see in my own puppy. She makes me happy,” Calderon said.

Their masterpieces may have been very different, but all three students share a passion for art and for the emotions it can evoke in people. At VASE, students from all over state come together to share their passion for art. Whether their medium is charcoal, pastels, jewelry, film, photographs, pencil, or watercolor; these students are free to express themselves any way they choose.

“My favorite thing about art is that you can be creative and no one can judge you. Everyone is unique,” Gutierrez said.

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