Westside students receive most Scholastic Art Awards in state

In the Classroom
Posted at 11:20 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 14:42:47-04

Each year, hundreds of students across the state are honored for their artwork as part of the Nebraska Scholastic Art Awards. 

Out of 3830 entries in Nebraska, 1281 pieces from 834 students received Honorable Mention, Silver Key or Gold Key. They will be on display at the OPS TAC building at 32nd and Cuming from February 24th-March 31st. Gold Key winners will be judged on the national level as well. 

Westside High School is a perennial powerhouse when it comes to students achieving Scholastic Art Awards. This year 133 works of art from Westside were honored. They once again had the most in the state. 

"I've heard time and time again, I come to school because I love my art class," said Erin Lunsford who is the art department chairperson at Westside High School. "We have a four-year, really core program that we all work together to design. We start with just hammering the fundamentals: craftsmanship, technique...and we really push the kids as far as we think we can push them."

Lunsford says they aim to not just create art in vacuum. That is one reason they're working with the Kaneko Foundation. Therman Statom is an artist in residence. He will be working with students to transform columns in the cafeteria into works of art.  "We're really interested in creating new templates for education that help kids with just all fields," Statom said. 

The commitment to art and the Scholastic Art Awards also teach teens that art can be a part of their futures, according to Lunsford. "And it could really change their life maybe one award like this might inspire a kid to go on and become and artist or an art teacher."