Art teacher pleased with student accomplishments
By Trudy Balcom
RAWLINS — Roger Davidson’s art students walked away from the end of the school year with 11 blue ribbon awards from the Wyoming State High School Arts Symposium.
A group of four students won those awards, and none of them were seniors.
And since art at the elementary school level was only recently revived, the students who grew up in Rawlins do not come to Davidson’s art class with a lot of art background.
“Some kids work really hard. They are fascinated by it, instead of getting into their cell phone or other activities, they’re working on their art,” Davidson said.
Others, he said, have family support for their artwork, such as a parent or sibling that has been involved in art, or they enjoy drawing in their free time.
Since art class is an elective and only an hour, students sometimes show up before school or find other time outside of class to work on their projects.
This year’s award winners join a list of students from Rawlins who have excelled in art competitions.
Wyoming High School Art Symposium
The statewide showcase of the work of student artists attracts thousands of entries from across the state. Unlike other student competitions where larger schools and smaller schools are separated into divisions, at the Symposium all student art from all schools is reviewed by a panel of judges and awarded ribbons based upon their evaluations.
This year, Andrew Stegman received five blue ribbons for his work; Taylor Reynolds received three blue ribbons, Marzena Robak received two blue ribbons and Weston Bezold received a blue ribbon as well.
First Lady’s Young Artist Showcase
Two Rawlins High school students were selected in 2015 for Carol Mead’s Wyoming First Lady’s Artist Showcase. The first lady selects art from the High School Art Symposium. Her selections hang in the Governor’s Mansion for one year. Amy Hernandez’s multi-media figure of a dancer was selected, as was a photograph by Kelia McCluddy. The two pieces were returned to Rawlins this spring and included in the student art show.
The Meth Project
None of the entries from Rawlins student’s into this years’ Wyoming Meth Project “Take A Stand Against Meth” art contest were winners this year. The contest encourages students to create art that warns youth against the danger of methamphetamine use.
Two Rawlins students placed in the 2013 contest, and won hefty cash prizes.
Taylor Reynolds will be a senior this fall, and Andrew Stegman entered the contest. Davidson said that he was disappointed they did not place, but said it is a “tough competition.”
Looking to the Future
Davidson is pleased with Carbon County School District No. 1’s efforts to include art in the STEM curriculum, and with the possibility of increasing student’s access to technology in art, such as digital photography and animation.
“It’s about kids being able to get to the next level, the opportunity to be creative, someone who can think outside the box,” he said.