While many of their peers spent the week of spring break relaxing, several art students from Benton Consolidated High School were racking up prizes at the Pope County High School art competition.
The competition, held last Friday, had more than 700 entries in categories including drawing, painting, sculpture, 2D mixed media, photography and digital media.
BCHS art teacher Amber Akes knows that contests like these enhance the regular classroom curriculum.
"The students learn to work towards a goal," she said. "They learn that others will see their work and it has to be displayed in a professional manner."
Akes said that preparing their artwork for display allows the students to learn communication skills throughout the process.
"The students collaboratively decide how to display and hang the artwork for the show," she said.
Competitions like this one are also import because they provide an opportunity for students to see artwork of their peers from other school.
Several of the BCHS art students were awarded honors at the competition. In the sculpture category, Ally Hutchcraft took third place. Taytun Pearce and Maria Hampton took honorable mention. Noah Bishop earned an honorable mention in photography. Hannah Dawson earned an honorable mention in 2D media. Bishop took both second and third places in computer graphics, while Carter Lingle got an honorable mention. In the drawing category, Fallon Dawson earned an honorable mention, while Dailin James was awarded second. James was the big winner, earning the Maria Martinez Best of Clay Vessel award.
With just a few weeks left in the school year, these students still have projects to complete.
"The students are currently working on the graduation cover design contest for the BCHS graduation," Akes said. "We are always working towards the National Scholastic Art Competition in December. That's our big one."
Akes also has a couple of students working on pieces for the HerrinFesta Italiana art contest and poster design contest. If these projects aren't enough, the BCHS Art Show will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. May 2 in the high school commons. The National Art Honor Society induction ceremony will follow that.
Two of Akes' seniors, Maria Hampton and Ashtyn Kubow just received art scholarships to attend Rend Lake College in the fall while other students have plans to student graphic design, photography, and art education.