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Haley Jasper of Hawkins High School won Best of Show with her drawing, "My Mom Prepping for Battle" in graphite. Artist Shirley Gordon (left) admires the portrait with Jasper (right).

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Hayley Jasper

Winnsboro Center for the Arts (WCA) is hosting an exhibition featuring the Art in the Gallery High School Art Competition through April 10. The show features 51 artworks by 45 students of eight area schools.

Hayley Jasper of Hawkins High School won Best of Show for her artwork titled “My Mom Prepping for Battle” in graphite.

Jasper uses graceful lines and subtle shadows to portray her mother donning personal protective equipment for her healthcare job. The larger than life treatment of the subject provides a direct view of her serious expression.

Event coordinator Mary Geisler said the contest had “terrific participation” from area schools in the annual contest, which awards a total of $1,000 in cash prizes to up to12 students who submitted art in six categories.

“Much of the artwork received was very good, making the job of the judges a tough one,” Geisler said.

Formerly hosted by Friends of the Rains County Public Library, the competition is now in its seventh year. Geisler thanked Lyn Baldwin of Friends of the Rains County Library for easing the contest’s transition to its new location at WCA.

A come and go artist reception on March 7 allowed students, families, and community members to view the students’ entries — from digital media and ceramic to watercolor and pencil.

Winners of the Excellence in Art Award include Josie Howard and Chelsey Slick. Howard’s entry, “The Eyes of Texas,” in colored pencil, portrays longhorn cattle gazing directly at the viewer.

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"Reaching for the Sun" in mixed media by Chelsie Slick

Slick’s mixed media entry titled “Reaching for the Sun,” depicts a hand delicately grasping a brightly-colored sprig of flowers. Both works received high marks from judges.

Trudy Atteberry teaches the three top three winners at Hawkins High School.

M. Hanner of Winnsboro High School won the Best Use of Mixed Media Award for “Forgotten” in oil, pastel, and colored pencil. According to judges’ criteria, “The artist created a remarkable artwork and showed great skill with her media.” Hanner is a student of Winnsboro art teacher Audrey Brewer.

Jade Countryman, also of Hawkins High School, won the Most Innovative Award for “Evasive,” a watercolor painting of a goldfish composed of hands and other human shapes. This award went to “artwork that shocked or surprised the judges.” Countryman also won a Picasso Award — an honorable mention — for a ceramic depiction of a goldfish titled “Glub Glub.”

Two winners of the Picasso Award from Quitman High School include Oscar Roman for “Archimedes’ Principle” and Bonnie Vander Schaaf for “Daughter of Hulk” in acrylic.

Bailee Schipp of Miller Grove High School won a Picasso for “Time to be Silent” in mixed media. Emily Phonshasinh of Mineola High School won another for her “Untitled Portrait” in pencil.

Students from Alba-Golden, Como-Pickton, and Yantis high schools and homeschooled students also participated.

The competition required students to submit their art digitally, prepare required applications, and prepare the art for exhibition. Teachers supported their students by helping them prepare the entries.

“The teachers took a very active role in encouraging their students, [and] helped them with all of their preparations in addition to coordinating with the Winnsboro Center for the Arts’ contest team,” Geisler said.

Winners receive a ribbon and a cash prize. Voting for two more Viewer’s Choice awards remains open through April 10.

Judges for the competition include seven local practicing artists: Donna Page, Dianna Powrie, Al and Georgia Moore, Valery Guignon and Matthew Mahaffey.

Winnsboro Center for the Arts is located at 200 Market St., Winnsboro, Texas. For more information visit www.winnsborocenterforthearts.com or call (903) 342-0686.

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