College of Visual Arts celebrates teen artists


The College of Visual Arts Gallery, located on the corner of Selby and Western in St. Paul

All images courtesy of the College of Visual Arts

Each year the Minnesota State High School League organizes contests in a wide variety of categories, including the visual arts.

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And each year, the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul displays the winners of the "Judge's Choice" award. CVA's Director of Admissions, Elyan Paz, coordinates the event, which is now in its 6th year.

We wanted the Judge's Choice recipients to be recognized for their achievement and create an exhibition that celebrates some of the best high school artwork in the state. The artists have their work in a gallery and participate in an artist's discussion with their peers during the reception. We also recognize the high school art educators that submitted the artwork for their school.

Students will travel from all over the state with their parents in tow to attend the reception, held this Saturday afternoon. There they'll be treated to more than 80 works of art, including paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, stained glass and welding.


Luke Listad, Grade 12

Title: Dream Gear

Forest Lake Senior High School

The exhibition program was the idea of Anoka High School Art Educator Kevan Nitzberg back in 2006. Since then, Paz says she has since a steady increase in the sophistication of the work submitted.

The artwork medium has evolved along with the technology that is available for students within the classroom and beyond. We are seeing more digital artwork, and there are more pieces using mixed media within the sculpture and craft categories. I attribute this to the teachers and the increased exposure students have to the world around them.


Nancy Yang, Grade 12

Tile: World Maps (one of two paintings)

Century High School, Rochester

Paz says she's always impressed by those pieces which no doubt took up far more time than was allotted for in class, revealing a deep commitment on the part of the student. And she say the arts educators supporting these students are incredibly dedicated and passionate about the art.

A challenge for art colleges and art teachers is educating everyone on the importance of art within our schools and communities. Research has shown us that art is an important element of a strong and vibrant community. One way of bringing attention to our talented high school artists is by participating in the MSHSL Visual Arts festivals and the Minnesota State Visual Arts High School Exhibition.

If you want to see the award-winning work of these high schoolers, you'll want to hurry; the students get to take their work home with them after the reception on Saturday.