A dozen of Southern Illinois’ budding artists were honored in a ceremony at the Illinois State Capitol on May 15, as part of an art competition held by State Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo).
“It’s amazing to me to see the creativity and skill displayed by these students,” said Schimpf. “And the variety of subjects and media show how truly broad the range of talent in our region is.”
“Inspired Southern Illinois” is the theme of Schimps’s second annual art competition. The entrants included paintings, photographs, drawings, and mixed-media works of art.
For Mascoutah High School student Alyssa Housely, her Grand Prize graphite drawing was inspired by a friend. “My best friend lived here for a few years and she moved recently, I just wanted to capture who she was,” said Housely. “I’m just very happy that a lot of people can see it and appreciate it. Art means a different thing to everybody, I hope they get their own thoughts from it.”
“I’m really flattered. Seeing people taking pictures of it and talking about it, I’m just really flattered and proud of myself,” said Carbondale Community High School student Miranda Wright, First Runner-Up, who was inspired by the animals of Southern Illinois to create a pencil drawing of a Clydesdale. “I grew up around farms and I draw a lot of things inspired by that.”
“I think it’s cool to have my artwork out for display for people to see. I like to draw things that I love and express myself through art,” said Second Runner-Up Noah Chism from Dupo High School, who entered a colored pencil drawing of himself and his hunting dog. “It’s amazing, I’m at a loss of words, talking to people, senators, it’s pretty sweet.”
“It’s a great opportunity, I really enjoyed the chance to come up here,” said Kirk Hester from Mount Vernon Township High School. “Art gives me an opportunity to express how I feel about how I see the world.”
The students’ artwork will be displayed in the North Corridor of the Capitol for the week, and several award winners will have their artwork displayed in Senator’s Schimpf office for the next year.
Participants who made the trip to Springfield took part in an awards ceremony at the Capitol complex, along with tours of the building, and the opportunity to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
“This brings a different group of kids up to the Capitol than many other programs do, this event focuses on students that have a unique artistic gift,” said Senator Schimpf. “We have some amazingly talented artists in Southern Illinois, and this gives me a chance to show off the talent to people from across the state.”