BSM artists excell at Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards

Rachel Kaplan

Out of 1147 individual entries and 121 portfolio entries submitted to the 2009 Minnesota Scholastic Art Exhibition, 54 Gold Keys and 121 Silver Keys were awarded, with twelve going to Benilde-St. Margaret’s students, whose pieces are now on display at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design Concourse Gallery.

Open to all Minnesota students in grades seven through 12, the MSAA is a prestigious award given to student-artists who deserve early recognition. “The award is as prestigious in art as winning a championship in athletics,” said art teacher Ms. Jan Johnson.

Three levels of awards are distributed to deserving students: the Gold Key, the Silver Key, and the Merit Award. Gold and Silver key-winning art pieces are included in the MSAA Exhibition. Gold key pieces will also continue on to the National Competition in New York.

Judged on originality, technical skill, and personal vision, BSM had 11 Silver Key winning entries for painting, drawing, photo, and clay. Honored students include seniors Joey Dryer, Conor Hamilton, Anne Huber, Connor Kapryan, Erica Qualheim; juniors Kelsey Myhre, Melissa Plooster; sophomores Thi Hoang and Sara Lund, and 7th grader Zachary Harrison. Senior Leah Getchell was rewarded with a Gold Key for her ceramics and glass piece, “Spot Pot.”

Honored by a prestigious jury of art teachers, winners of the Gold Key and Silver Key will receive their awards at the MSAA Awards Ceremony and Reception on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009. “It’s nice to have recognition outside of academics,” said junior Brittany Johnson, who submitted a painted casserole dish pottery piece.

“I’m super excited to have my silver key. I wasn’t expecting it at all, because I didn’t submit my favorite painting,” said junior Kelsey Myhre, fellow winner. She submitted a painting entitled “Urban Wasteland” which featured a forest scene being taken over by the destruction of human construction, “It focuses on environmentalism,” she said about her artwork.

To submit pieces, students could turn in their work to art teachers, who then chose the best to submit to the competition, as they could only turn in up to ten. “The BSM art teachers have been participating over the last 30 years.  There were over 1100 works submitted from the metro area and nearby cities.  One hundred fifty seven  made the show.  BSM did very well in getting so many works in,” said Ms. Johnson.

Although not chosen to be in the MSAA Exhibition, seven BSM pieces also received a Merit Award, denoting that jurors found the piece deserving of merit. Students earning this honor included seniors Dez Brown, Anne Huber, Hannah Muenzberg, Erica Qualheim and Taylor Sullivan; junior Brittany Johnson; and 7th grader Anna McCloskey.