High school artists celebrated in exhibition at SBU’s Quick Center

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ST. BONAVENTURE — Works by 74 student artists, selected from more than 250 submissions, are on display at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts as part of its annual High School Juried Art Exhibition. 

Selected through an extensive jurying process, the works are being exhibited in the Quick Center’s mezzanine level through May 21.

The students represent school districts from New York and Pennsylvania including Allegany-Limestone, Andover, Austin, Bolivar-Richburg, Cassadaga Valley, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Clymer, Coudersport, Ellicottville, Fillmore, Horseheads, Kane, Olean, Olean Career and Technical Education Center, Oswayo Valley, Pioneer, Port Allegany, Portville, Salamanca, West Valley, and home-schools in the region.

Winners, their families and friends, were honored at an exhibition opening reception April 11, when all selected students were awarded an artist prize pack.

Three students received Best of Show honors:

Joseph Derck, grade 12, Fillmore Central School (art teacher: Jodi Brown), for an acrylic painting titled “Masaai Woman.”

Ali Giermek, grade 11, Career & Technical Education Center in Olean (art teacher: Amber Christensen), for a digital painting titled “In Vogue.”

Max Smith, grade 11, Kane (Pa.) High School (art teacher: Cathy Sirianni), for a charcoal drawing titled “Old Dude.”

Each Best of Show winner was presented with a $1,000 scholarship to attend St. Bonaventure and a professional artist portfolio by Dean Whitcomb, associate director of admissions at the university.

Six students earned Best of Category honors:

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Best of Painting: Samantha Stock, grade 12, Ellicottville Central School (art teacher: Lillian Lechner) for coffee painting titled “Library Café.”

Best of Photography/Collage/Digital Art: Acacia Steffenhagen, grade 9, Olean High School (art teacher: Kellie O’Brien) for an untitled digital work.

Best of Drawing/Printmaking co-winners: Benjamin Vella, grade 12, Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School (art teacher: Carol Purdy) for a colored pencil drawing titled “Self-Portrait;” and Jessica Daley, grade 11, Portville Central School (art teacher: Wendy Van Curen) for a pastels and colored pencil drawing titled “Glare.”

Best of 3D/Sculpture/Ceramics co-winners: Rebecca Oyer, grade 12, Salamanca High School (art teacher: Lori MacArthur) for a black ash wood woven basket titled “Becky’s Basket;” and Ernest Lipscolm, grade 12, Fillmore Central School (art teacher: Jodi Brown), for a Golden River Paper origami work titled “Satoshi Kamiya’s Pegasus.” 

Ludwig Brunner, executive director of the Quick Center, presented each Best of Category winner with professional-grade art supplies in relation to their selected work, along with a reusable bag displaying their artwork.

“Great thanks must be given to the parents, grandparents, family, friends and art teachers who encourage and support these students,” Brunner said. “The talent we have seen grow in these exhibitions over the past five years or so is exponential. The quality of the work these students produce is astonishing and we are so pleased that the Quick Center can display these pieces for everyone in our community to enjoy.”

Sean Conklin, the Quick Center’s assistant curator and museum educator, said overseeing the various annual juried are exhibitions for local school students is one of the favorite parts of his job.

“For this show specifically, I had so many individuals come up and remark about how everywhere you looked there was another amazing work,” Conklin said. “I hope seeing their work hung in our museum space alongside all the other amazing pieces from our collection encourages these students to continue with their artistic endeavors, because every single winner this year has the talent and the skill.”

The Quick Center’s mezzanine level is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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