Art students earn awards at Columbia Art League show

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Art teachers Abbey Trescott and Carrie Stephenson had 13 artist from their AP 1 and 2 classes on display at the Columbia Art League downtown. The Columbia Art League’s “Eye in the Beauty of the Beholder” show will be on display for the next month. Photo by Paige Kiehl.

Lauren Puckett

Art teachers Abbey Trescott and Carrie Stephenson had 13 artist from their AP 1 and 2 classes on display at the Columbia Art League downtown. The Columbia Art League's "Eye in the Beauty of the Beholder" show will be on display for the next month. Photo by Paige Kiehl.
Art teachers Abbey Trescott and Carrie Stephenson had 13 artists from their Advanced Placement Studio Art 1 and 2 classes with art on display at the Columbia Art League downtown. The Columbia Art League’s “Eye in the Beauty of the Beholder” show will be on display for the next month. Photo by Paige Kiehl
Walking into the Columbia Art League, on 207 S. Ninth Street, the casual viewer will notice a common theme. The latest exhibit is titled “Beauty and the Beholder” and consists of entries from all around the community, showcasing body image and the concept of attractiveness. More than 140 entries were submitted to the show, 90 of which were juried.
What the casual viewer may not realize is this — 13 of those 90 entries are the works of RBHS art students.
“I know that we’ve never had this big of a showing in one of [the Columbia Art League’s] exhibits,” art instructor Abbey Trescott said. “We’ve never had as many students submit … We made up over 10% of the work, which is great because it’s high school students competing with professional artists in the community.”
This past Thursday, Jan. 17, a reception was held at the Columbia Art League for the “Beauty and the Beholder” show. Various artists were handed awards based on their pieces and the jury’s interpretation. Three RBHS students received awards: junior Sarah Poor received an honorable mention as an emerging artist, junior Samantha Ding was given an emerging artist award, and senior Ipsa Chaudhary was given an honorable mention award.
Junior Sarah Poor's self portrait made in her AP 1 art class won her the award of emerging artist. Poor's work along with fellow Rock Bridge art students can be seen and bought downtown at the Columbia Art League. Photo by Paige Kiehl.
Junior Sarah Poor’s self-portrait made in her Advanced Placement Studio Art 1 class won her the award of emerging artist. Poor’s work, along with that of fellow RBHS art students, can be seen and bought downtown at the Columbia Art League. Photo by Paige Kiehl
“I got honorable mention for emerging artist, which is really great because I think there were only one or two honorable mentions,” Poor said. “And it was out of all the high schoolers that entered, and I definitely thought that there was some fantastic pieces in there. I couldn’t believe I got anything … It was pretty exciting.”
Ding also expressed shock and excitement when her name was announced. Ding entered two Columbia Art League shows previous to “Beauty and the Beholder”, one of which was themed “Blue” and the other “Seven Deadly Sins”, neither of which gave her an award. This was her first exhibit as an emerging artist winner.
Samantha Ding did an oil pastel of a subject in her AP 1 class at Rock Bridge. Ding submitted her work to the Columbia Art League and was rewarded as an emerging artist. Photo by Paige Kiehl.
Samantha Ding did an oil pastel of a subject in her Advanced Placement Studio Art 1 class at  RBHS. Ding submitted her work to the Columbia Art League and was rewarded as an emerging artist. Photo by Paige Kiehl
“I’ve been wanting to get something, since [this] is now my third time [entering a Columbia Art League show],” Ding said. “So I was really excited when they called my name.”
Yet Trescott said the biggest surprise of the night came when Ipsa Chaudhary received an honorable mention among all the professional artists in the community.
“Ipsa beat out another professional artist to receive an honorable mention,” Trescott said. “It is a blind judging so the jury doesn’t know which artists are high school artists and which are professionals in the community, so they, the jury, select the pieces for the show first and give the awards first, and then they are presented with the high school art. And from the high school collection they chose an emerging artist. So that’s pretty amazing.”
All 13 RBHS entries, including Poor’s, Ding’s and Chaudhary’s, will be displayed at the Columbia Art League exhibit, giving them a chance to be viewed by local Columbians. All the students are excited about the opportunity to have their work displayed for the world to see, Trescott said.
“[The students] have worked so hard in our studio classes and now the rest of Columbia’s seeing their work too, not just in the halls of Rock Bridge,” Trescott said. ” … I think it’s important for every student to have the opportunity to exhibit and have that experience.”
By Lauren Puckett
Additional reporting by Ipsa Chaudhary
Have you seen the “Beauty and the Beholder” pieces? Which were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!