Art Students Compete in V.A.S.E.

Cassidy Cox, Staff Writer

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Oak Ridge art students had the opportunity to improve their art skills by participating in V.A.S.E., otherwise known as the Visual Arts Scholastic Event. As a team, the 64 art pieces received the highest rating of a IV and three students will be advancing to the State VASE Event.
“VASE is an art competition, and we basically just go to a high school and either draw or bring something we have made. Then the judges come and evaluate you. The finalists move on to the state competition,” Junior Stevie Wallace said.
The competitions are open to any current art student, and can be very beneficial and enjoyable for them.
“I think everyone who enjoys art should participate in the competitions. For me, it is a good way to get to do something I love, but also get rewarded for working hard and becoming better. The purpose of the competitions is to grow as an art student and improve your skills. Through doing these contests, I have become a better artist which is really exciting,” Wallace said.
Before competitions, the students have to go through a lot of preparation and practice so that they can do their very best.
“Mrs. Welch, our art teacher, does a great job preparing us before competitions. She helps us not only get better at the actual art, but also at what to say to the judge during the one-on-one evaluation where you have to explain what exactly you made, why you made it, and how it was built. Her help makes me feel confident and ready to do a great job whenever I compete. She is always so encouraging and pushes me to do the best that I can. She has helped me become a better artist,” Wallace said.
A teacher’s job is to help their students improve and learn, and Debra Welch has certainly done this for the students who participate in competitions.
“She is always honest with us and tells us what is good and what is not good. Her constructive criticism is what helps us improve so much. She teaches us the skills we need to get better and then gives us the freedom to be creative and do our own thing. I really appreciate all of her help,” Wallace said.
Although VASE is a competition, to be truly great at something, one must have the passion for it.
“At these competitions, the kids who do the best and advance to the next round are usually the ones who love it the most and want to do it for the rest of their lives. It is evident who really has the passion for it and who is just there to compete. For me, art is really fun. I like that it is always so different, new and completely up to me. I am able to create what I want. There is total freedom for the artist. I think it is a good way to express myself and what I am feeling. My favorite part is probably knowing that I can take a lump of clay and turn it into something beautiful. Art is just a hobby, so I won’t be pursuing it as a career in the future, but it is one of my favorite things to do,” Wallace said.

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