High School Artists Show off ‘Innovations’ at USAO

High School Artists Show off ‘Innovations’ at USAO


CHICKASHA – Nearly 350 students faced off recently for an annual high school art competition at the University of Science and Arts. Students from 28 high schools around the state competed in Innovations, an art exhibit held exclusively for Oklahoma juniors and seniors.

Jacquelyn Knapp, assistant professor of art, said that with a history of more than 15 years of competitions, Innovations continues to draw Oklahoma’s best artistic talent.

“The talent and skill continue to amaze us every year,” Knapp said. “Every year the quality of work created by these young talents improves.”

Knapp credits public art teachers for equipping art students.

“The art teachers in the public school system are continuing to do a fantastic job preparing students for art exhibitions,” she said. “This year’s show is truly exceptional.”

Among the spoils for the student victors were cash prizes, award ribbons, certificates and public exhibition.

This year’s Best of Show award went to Kory Atcuson of Plainview High School in Ardmore for a detailed clay and sgraffito sculpture entitled, “Changes.” The awarded landed Atcuson a cash prize of $150 and a special prize ribbon.

“This piece stood out from the rest because of the visual impact, design quality and skill level required for its production,” Knapp said. “We tried to select those pieces that showed the most creativity, originality, best design quality and overall visual impact. When we look at a piece and say ‘wow that was created by a high school student,’ an award is sure to follow. So the ‘wow’ factor does exist.”

Housed in the Davis Hall Third Floor Art Gallery, the Innovations exhibit remains on display through March 16 at USAO. A special awards ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. March 16 for this year’s contest participants.

Each year, students from across the state send in up to three original works of art for the contest. USAO art faculty members display the entries and narrow the show to the top winners. The judges award one Best of Show award, 10 Judges Choice awards and 30 Awards of Merit.

This year’s show was judged by Knapp, Assistant Professor of Art Kent Lamar, Professor of Art Steve Brown and Assistant Professor of Art Tim Sullivan. 

Students from nearly 30 high schools submitted impressive works using multiple artistic media, from colored pencil to photography, from pastel to oil and from ebony to graphite.

This year’s contest even yielded a winner in basket weaving.

Regardless of awards, Knapp said Innovations provides an exhibition opportunity for students to show their work in a public forum.

“This is what being an artist is all about, sharing your creations with the world,” she said. “These kids work very hard in preparing, creating and presenting their work for the opportunity to show in a university setting. I am very proud and would congratulate all of them for their dedication to art.”

The Innovations exhibit is free and open to the public through March 16. The Third Floor Art Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Following is a list of this year’s Innovations winners:

Alva: Hattie Pfleider, “Simply Southwest” (basket weaving), Judges Choice; Ethan McOsker, “Watermelon Crawl” (ceramic), Award of Merit

Anadarko: Elizabeth Rey-Guy, “Medicine Bear” (mixed media), Judges Choice; Wes Poolaw, “Trick Bike” (acrylic), Award of Merit

Apache: AJ Morales, “Just Cherries” (oil pastel), Award of Merit

Ardmore (Plainview): Nikki Hastings, “Los Manos de Muerto” (prisma color), Judges Choice; Andrea Phan, “Me, Myself & I” (oil), Award of Merit; Kory Atcuson, “Crazy” (ceramic), Award of Merit

Bethel: Josh Dutton, “Reflections” (watercolor), Judges Choice; Josh Dutton, “Cloth in the Wind” (oil), Award of Merit

Bridge Creek: Clayton Ferrell, “Seen & Unforseen” (graphite), Award of Merit

Chickasha: Kaysee Coponiti, “Untitled” (photography), Judges Choice; Emily Markum, “Untitled 2” (pencil), Award of Merit; Acea T. Mealer, “Untitled” (photography), Award of Merit; Jake Scott, “Untitled #2” (ceramic), Award of Merit

Cyril: Matt Snider, “Behind the Green Door” (colored pencil), Award of Merit

Edmond (Fine Arts Institute): Kyndall Rainey, “The Kingfisher” (pastel), Award of Merit

Edmond (Santa Fe): Tyler Sayre, “Coplins Wonderland” (oil), Award of Merit

Glenpool: Mark Hill, “Chuck Taylors” (colored pencil), Judges Choice; Rachel Waldrop, “True Glantz” (oil), Award of Merit

Moore: John Fitzgerald, “Construction Beams” (pencil), Award of Merit

Mountain View-Gotebo: Tim Toloy, “Me, Myself, and I” (mixed media), Award of Merit

Norman (North): Riley Million, “The Arrival” (watercolor), Award of Merit

Oklahoma City (Mount St. Mary): April Jones, “Believe in Barbaro” (mixed media), Award of Merit and “Day Lily” (oil pastel), Award of Merit

Oklahoma City (Western Heights): Dakota Webster, “Untitled” (wood), Award of Merit

Prague: Austin Higgs, “For the Love of Money” (mixed media), Award of Merit

Ringling: Felix Martinez, “Tree” (acrylic), Judges Choice

Sapulpa: Alan Brashears, “Dreams w/Sharp Teeth” (pencil), Judges Choice and “Night Stalker” (prisma color), Award of Merit; Jon Hester, “Memories” (ebony), Award of Merit and “Spectrum” (prisma), Award of Merit; Taylor Ball, “Chin Up, Chin Up” (photography), Award of Merit

Stigler: Danielle Sherman, “Untitled” (mixed media), Award of Merit

Tulsa (Union): Lisa Van Schoyck, “Baoboa Tree” (photography), Judges Choice; Amanda Zurita, “One Man’s Trash” (collograph), Judges Choice; Heather McDonald, “Notre Dame” (etching), Award of Merit

Walters: Brad Defate, “The Spiteful Glance” (tempera), Award of Merit; Andy Dryden, “Draven” (pencil), Award of Merit

Wynnewood: Richard Baker, “Fourth Quarter Push” (pencil), Award of Merit

--> -->