The Wylie High School Art Department had nine students qualify for the State Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), which will be live this year after being virtual last year.
VASE is the equivalent of the UIL for art students. Students qualified by winning top honors at the regional event at the end of February. The regional event was done online; however, VASE organizers decided just recently to return to an in-person state event this year. The students will show their art and talk about their pieces to the judges at the end of April.
Congratulations to all these students for this great accomplishment.
Layla was not even in an art class this year, but a friend inspired her to enter the contest anyway.
“I always saw the art hanging in the hallway, and I thought wow, I wish I was a part of the art community.”
So she entered with a painting designed to showcase misconceptions about divorce. A balloon in her painting represents a child, and it is reflected in broken mirrors that represent divorce.
“I thought of mirrors for divorce and thought what if we shattered the mirrors. I wanted it to have darkness and emptiness without feeling empty. I was trying to find meaning in each part of the art and make it into something impactful.”
Ireland loves working with clay, so when the class assignment was to make a teapot, she got creative.
“Every time I think of honey, I think of tea,” she said. “I thought a honeycomb teapot would be a cute idea. I rolled the clay into snake-like forms and used the coil method to stack them to make it more like a beehive. It’s pretty heavy, so I came up with the idea to have two handles. I thought it would be a cute idea to make a honey spoon to be the handle.”
She said she was excited when she learned the piece qualified for state.
“I thought I might score a 3 or 4. When she said I was going to state, I was really surprised.”
“I love art because it helps me let out my emotions and express myself through a form that nobody else really understands as well as I do. I really love it. I love everything about art, especially portraits and animals and realism. It’s a lot of fun.” Her work is a portrait of herself through Saran Wrap.
“The Saran Wrap reminds me of not being able to breathe in an environment where you are putting a lot of stress on yourself and having anxiety. I’m smiling in the pictures because everyone else sees you from their point of view and you are hiding it behind a mask. The Saran Wrap shows that you have a suffocating feeling that nobody else can see. Or that’s kind of how I portrayed it.”
Carly said she was very surprised when she found out she qualified for state.
“I was shocked. I think staring at my own artwork for too long makes me critique it way too much. I am really excited.”
She said her painting represents her bad experiences with people and her struggles with health issues. The newspaper pieces also give little hints into who she is as a person.
“These are all words that represent me. I want to be a teacher. I love music. I love Broadway and theater and stuff like that. There are a lot of things throughout that just kind of explain who I am.”
Nostalgia of One’s Childhood
Anabelle said her painting was a class project that really challenged her.
“I wasn’t used to doing still lifes so that was out of my comfort zone. I was intimidated by it, by how many objects and how much detail was in it. With this, one, I really pushed myself. Now I’m more comfortable with it. Now I love doing realism.”
She had participated in VASE for several years, so she was very excited to earn a trip to state on her final try.
“I was kind of shocked. I’m proud of my work, but it felt like a dream come true. It’s something I’ve always wanted. It’s such an honor to be a part of.”
Jason really loves the opportunity that art gives him to be creative and express himself. He said he challenged himself a bit with his painting that qualified for state.
“This was a class project. I really wanted to test water color. I had never used water color before. I really wanted to use several shapes where I could do several things and try them out all on the same piece.”
He was very excited when he learned he qualified for state.
“I was really happy that I achieved that. I never really entered a professional art contest before. It was very reaffirming that I have at least some ability.”
Hanna just signed up for art because she needed an art credit, and now she wants to major in art at McMurry next year.
“I was going to go into a completely different career until I found art. I grew to love art and to love what I do.” She said she couldn’t believe her piece qualified for state.
“I was just bawling my eyes out. It was on my bucket list. I was really, really happy.”
She said her painting is about perspectives.
“To me it represents a past moment in my life, but to other people they go oh yeah that looks relaxing. But it has a completely different meaning.”
Ashes to Ashes
Emmalee’s painting was inspired by Paula Weissman, a recent speaker at Wylie.
“She was a Holocaust survivor. We got the chance to listen to her talk about her story. I was interested in what she had to stay and all the stories she shared. One of them stuck with me.”
Emmalee said Weissman told the story of a how she saw a man smoking a cigarette as she was being loaded onto a train. She and her companions tried to call out to the man.
“The only answer that he gave was a small flick of his cigarette. She said that was basically the answer that they would all be ash sooner or later.”
Rachael’s artwork was inspired by her sister and is drawn entirely with Sharpie.
“My sister loves music and art. We like to draw together. She also plays the harp, and I teach her because I have been playing for about six years now. I just drew a picture of her playing the harp in the forest. She’s little and innocent. I just kind of made it an enchanted forest scene.”
Rachael said that color pencil is her favorite medium, but she really loves all art projects.
“I like that I can be expressive. It’s like a form of communication that isn’t quite as direct and can be interpreted in different ways. I find it really fun too.”