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ISD 728 Students Earn National Scholastic Art Honors

 Six ISD 728 students earned medals at the National Scholastic Art Awards competition, including two Elk River High School art students who placed among the top artists in the country.

The awards were announced Monday from New York City. 

Junior Kylie Urvig earned an American Visions Medal and Gold Medal for her stipple piece – Lake Superior Stipple. She’s the first to earn a Visions Medal from ERHS, which is given to the top artist from each region. Only 250 people are nominated, and five American Visions winners are named.

Elk River High, in fact, had two American Vision Nominees – out of the five that could come from the Minnesota region. ERHS senior Marianne Schoen was a nominee for her piece, “Reflection,” a painting that now is in Minneapolis at the Museum of Art.

“To have two American Vision nominees is from our school is outstanding,” said ERHS art teacher Damien Husen. “That sort of recognition is huge for a student.”

Marianne earned a gold medal for her charcoal drawing, her first national award.

Kylie’s art medium was incredibly unique. A stipple – which is the process of lifting and placing down the pen or point in a hard fashion to create an impressed “dot” – takes a lot of time and process.

“It was actually a piece I completed a couple of years ago with micron pens,” she said. “It was part of a portfolio submission – it took me about 50 hours when I first made it.”

Marianne’s piece – created with colored charcoal on canvas – also took painstaking work. “Reflections” is done in a way where the subject is actually upside down. She said the hand that is draped across the body took her more than six hours to create, alone.

“Charcoal is really difficult when it comes to precise areas, so that took a lot of time. You have to get it right, because you can smooth out the larger areas, but it’s more difficult to do the smaller ones.”

Both girls said their pieces were inspired by assignments given by teachers in the ERHS art departments.

“It’s one of those situations,” Marianne said, “where you’re given this assignment and you just want to get it done. But it grows into something pretty unique. I was really kind of trying to find something that would bring people in and give them a different viewpoint from what I’d normally create.”

In addition to Kylie’s National American Visions award and gold medal and Marianne’s gold medal, four other ISD 728 students earned National Silver Medals for their artwork.

From Rogers High School, freshman Kristina Shaptala took silver for her painting “Red Mustang.”

And three other seniors from ERHS – Kaytlin Nething, Jolea Osborne and Colton Pool, also took silver medals.

Kaytlin’s painted piece was called “Lost.” Jolea submitted a mask sculpture called “Why Makeup?” And Colton’s piece was vase dubbed “Blue Rose.”

 Marianne and Kylie Lake Superior Reflection Red Mustang by Kristina Shaptala