Art students score big at Scholastics

The best student artists at Elder win at Regionals


Art is a subject at Elder that can usually be described as “underrated” or “underappreciated”. Usually students at Elder only take Art as a freshman course or as a schedule filler when they get to be juniors or seniors. Some students don’t take an Art course at all throughout their high school career.

However on the flip side, there are many guys at Elder that I know who continue their art career all throughout high school, either because they are really good at it or they just love doing it.

The Elder Art Department rewards these students who stick with Art and do exceptional work by encouraging them to send in their best pieces to the Regional Scholastic Art Competition based on the quality of their artwork. These pieces can either go on to win a Gold Key, Silver Key, or Honorable Mention.

The annual Scholastic Art Awards is the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition initiative for creative students (grades 7-12) and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. Educators, vendors, the media, students, and their families all attend.

Last year 609 schools represented our region. Approximately 1,000 winning pieces of art will be displayed, out of nearly 5,000 pieces submitted and judged. Those Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention winners will receive recognition and scholarships. Gold Key recipients will go on to compete for national medals in a National Award Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York.

The senior winners are Ryan Anneken (Gold Key and Honorable Mention), Hunter Brockmann (Honorable Mention), and Sam Stauss (Gold Key and Honorable Mention).

The junior winners are Kaleb Cox (Honorable Mention), John Paul Crump (Honorable Mention), Gabe Ludke (Honorable Mention), and Adam Hammann (Gold Key – American Visions Nominee).

The sophomore winners are Zach Bischoff (Honorable Mention), Ryan Duell (Honorable Mention), Bob Luebbering III (Honorable Mention), and Zach Rudolf (Honorable Mention).

There is also a lone freshman Art 1 winner, Simon Feist (Gold Key and Honorable Mention).

I took Art as a freshman over band, dramatic techniques, and chorus (the most popular) and really enjoyed it. Of course I wasn’t really that talented, but I had a good time doing it. This year, I was in Mr. Buetsche’s digital photography class but got out of it due to my schedule having to get changed. I have heard a lot of my peers taking the digital photography class and really liking it, so I must’ve really missed out.

One of those students that enjoyed photography class was Hunter Brockmann who won Honorable Mention for one of his photographs. I asked him about the photo he took.

“I was very excited. This was my first year taking Digital Photography and I never would have thought it would take me here. Mr. Buetsche has taught me a lot about photography and taking photographs (even if I can’t remember all the terms). I forget how many people were selected from Elder, but I was the only one to show up at the Regional awards ceremony.”

“My picture was of me looking in the mirror and a creature looking back at me. I used a low angle shot using the light from the lamp and it’s reflection above me. I’m very glad and honored to receive an honorable mention. I think this gives me some courage to be a little bit more open to trying out new things.”

I also talked to Ryan Anneken about the drawings he got recognized for. He said that he submitted a portfolio of eight examples of his work along with two individual pieces. While his portfolio was not recognized for any award, both of his individual pieces were.

“One of my pieces recognized was titled, “Reflections,” which was inspired by the relationship between man and nature. I drew this piece a year ago for my AP portfolio which included portraits and landscapes, so I thought I could combine these two art styles into one work. I used graphite for the portrait aspect of the piece, and I used watercolor for the landscape. I wanted to illustrate how we are a reflection of nature, therefore it is an important aspect of our lives. It is easy to forget this in our society that is often isolated from nature, but I hope this piece reminds the viewer that we need to set aside time to be in it. This piece received an honorable mention at Scholastics.”

“My other piece recognized was titled, “Looking in the Blinds.” I drew this piece a few months ago using ink as my medium. This piece was originally for a Halloween themed project in Mr. Buetsche’s class, but I decided to submit it to Scholastics. At first, I was hesitant about submitting this piece since I didn’t think it was strong enough to be recognized for any award. But after being persuaded by Mr. Buetsche, I decided to submit it. To my surprise, it won a gold key! That’s the beauty of Scholastics. You never know what pieces will be recognized. Sometimes, what seems to be your worst piece is actually your best.”

So now, “Looking in the Blinds” will be sent off to the national level of the competition. Personally, I am tentatively optimistic because I have experienced the competitive nature of the national level before. Freshman year was when I first won a Gold Key in Scholastics. The piece was sent off to the national level, but did not receive an award. Although the national level is much more competitive than the regional, I have high hopes that “Looking in the Blinds” will be recognized. If it is, this would definitely be a highlight for my senior year at Elder High School.”

Regional’s are ending and four Elder students are going onto the national level with their exceptional Gold Key pieces in New York City. Here’s hoping that they will get recognized for their hard work and be successful there!