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Sophomore Mariah Blackburn stands next to art pieces at the 12th Annual High School Art Competition and Exhibition, hosted by Columbia College. Blackburn was one of a group of RBHS students who earned prizes for their pieces, taking home first in Paintings.

Bruins shine at high school art competition, exhibition

The 12th Annual High School Art Competition and Exhibition, hosted by Columbia College, ended Jan. 21, marking the finish of what was a rather successful art contest for RBHS students.

The competition was open to any rising artist in the mid-Missouri region who desired to exhibit their artwork. Artists were open to enter their pieces in any of the provided categories, such as paintings and photography.  

“The Columbia College High School Art Show is an annual show that has been going on for years, open to high schoolers from the surrounding areas, across several artistic disciplines,” art teacher Carrie Stephenson said. “RBHS had students submit artwork in the printmaking, drawing, painting, and photography categories. These students are currently taking Studio, AP, and Photography. It’s a great opportunity for our artists to showcase their artwork and get a taste of being in a professional gallery show.”

At the end of the competition, several RBHS students emerged victorious in several categories. Senior Ian Koopman, for example, won second in Paintings, while sophomore Mariah Blackburn emerged victorious, taking home first in the same category.

Blackburn initially participated because of the possible academic opportunities the exhibit could provide if she happened to win in a category. After witnessing the number of pieces at the exhibit, however, she was unsure whether she would place in her respective category. This, however, ultimately didn’t matter in the end.

“I at first was pretty confident that I could win some kind of placement in my category, but after awhile once I saw what kind of other art was being entered and the number of other pieces being entered I began preparing myself for if I wasn’t going to win anything,” Blackburn said. “I was very surprised that my piece received first, especially after looking at a lot of the other art, because there were many pieces I thought were beautiful.”

Junior Izzy Gompper also competed in the exhibit after her art teacher recommended her to do so. While she didn’t place in her respective category, she believes it was a phenomenal exhibit  which she hopes to be a part of in the future.

“I think I was satisfied with the outcome of it. It was neat seeing others art at the event, and I know they worked hard to get those awards” Gompper said. “I would love to participate again.”

Blackburn, like Gompper, feels that her experience in the exhibit was a very delightful one, and is motivated to continue participating in future exhibits as well.

“I enjoyed my experience in the art show and I would definitely do it again,” Blackburn said. “It was very nice to observe other artists’ work and get inspiration to work and improve my art. I plan to participate in the Columbia College art show again as well as many others in Columbia.”

Did you participate in the exhibit? Did you attend? If so, let us know about your experience in the comments below!

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