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Woodlawn Arts Academy Unveils Dazzling Winners: 15th Annual Student-Teacher Art Exhibit

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Woodlawn Arts Academy hosted the opening for the 15th annual Student-Teacher Art Exhibit on Friday, Feb. 23.

More than 300 community members attended to view over 120 submissions from surrounding schools. Woodlawn Arts Academy proudly displayed artwork from talented students and staff from the Sauk Valley area and announced the winners of the 2024 Student-Teacher Art Exhibit.

Sweet Reflection, a Prismacolor colored pencil piece by Zayley B., a freshman at Morrison High School, claimed first place in the grades 9-12 category. In the grades 5-8 category, Shakira the Giraffe, an oil pastel piece by Cierra W., a seventh grader at Morrison Junior High, took first place. Jovie F., a first grader at Franklin Elementary in Sterling, won first place in the K-4 category with her mixed media piece titled Under the Sea.

Voting occurred in person at the exhibit opening and subsequently on the Academy’s Facebook page for the first two weeks of the exhibit, with the public indicating their preferences by “liking” or “loving” the images. Over 7,300 votes were cast in person and on Facebook.

The top 12 winners included:

  • All Eyes on Me, a cassette tape piece by Landon C., a junior at Morrison High School, secured second place in the grades 9-12 category.
  • Glimmering Greens, a multimedia artwork by Leah S., an eighth grader at Morrison Junior High, earned second place in the grades 5-8 category.
  • Sunflower, created with tempera paint and oil pastel by Jacqueline C., a first grader at Jefferson Elementary in Sterling, won second place in the K-4 category.
  • Aviators, an ink pen piece by Anna B., a sophomore at Morrison High School, clinched third place in the grades 9-12 category.
  • Gerald, The Grumpy Neighbor, an oil pastel piece by Kay-Leigh M., a seventh grader at Morrison Junior High, took third place in the grades 5-8 category.
  • Mighty Meat Mountain, a collage by Nora L., a fourth grader at Washington Elementary in Sterling, secured third place in the K-4 category.
  • Crimson Heart, a painted ceramic piece by Ava P., a junior at Sterling High School, received an honorable mention in the grades 9-12 category.
  • Dream House, a colored pencil artwork by Aria R., a fifth grader at Washington Elementary in Sterling, earned an honorable mention in the grades 5-8 category.
  • Wild Thing, a colored pencil piece by Payton M., a third grader at West Carroll Primary in Savanna, received an honorable mention in the K-4 category.

Starting in early 2025, winning pieces will be featured on banners along the First Avenue Bridge between Sterling and Rock Falls, thanks to a partnership between the Academy, the city of Sterling, and Sterling Main Street. Additionally, six additional submissions chosen by Woodlawn Arts Academy staff will be featured on banners:

  • Moth, a watercolor and ink piece by Nivea N., a ninth grader at Ashton-Franklin Center High School in Ashton.
  • Star Sky Beach, a tempera paint artwork by Starlyn E., a fifth grader at West Carroll Primary in Savanna.
  • Digital Portrait, a digital painting by Salena M., a seventh grader at Challand Middle School in Sterling.
  • “The end of the beginning …,” a mixed media piece by Zy M.W., a senior at Rock Falls High School.
  • Me on a Summer Day, a mixed media piece by Elianna W., a kindergartener at Dillon Elementary in Rock Falls.
  • Distortion, a watercolor by Josey H., a senior at Sterling High School.

The art exhibit will remain on display during regular business hours until April 26 and is open to the public free of charge. Woodlawn Arts Academy, an agency of United Way of Whiteside and Lee counties, offers financial assistance to qualifying individuals. Details on the Academy’s programming and financial assistance applications are available in the Academy office or on the website at www.woodlawnartsacademy.com. The Academy’s programs receive partial funding from grants provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency and The Chicago Community Foundation.

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