Outstanding FWISD high school artists work on display

There were more than 4,000 submissions to the Annual Fort Worth ISD Secondary Schools Art Awards Night for High School Tuesday night.

Students and parents explored the art exhibit in Billingsley Field House, taking pictures of the artwork on display and the prizes individuals won for their artwork.

“Exceptional student artwork is selected for this exhibition and it is an honor which demonstrates special artistic talent,” Fort Worth ISD Director of Art Education
Beverly Fletcher said.

Catherine Vest, a senior at Arlington Heights High School, took home the big prize as she won first place for her art portfolio

Vest won a $2,000 scholarship to go towards her college tuition as well as a trophy and ribbons.

To win the top prize, a student must have had developed his or her artwork over four years and submitted his or her 12 best works of art in at least three mediums or more. The students also had to show improvement from freshman to senior year in order to show the judges their growth.

Fletcher said over 100 submissions were sent for the art portfolio award and the judges chose the top 10. Four won trophies and two won scholarship money from their art portfolio.

Vest said that for her, winning first place meant that people liked her art and that her hard work had paid off.

“I was surprised because I don’t really think what will come out of it,” Vest said. “I just think about the piece and hope to see the end of it.”

Vest said that when she initially found out she had won first place for her portfolio, she cried and needed to sit down to catch her breath.

For every great artist there is a great inspiration that drives them. For Catherine, that inspiration comes from the Northwest Pacific.

“My main inspiration for most of my pieces is the Northwest Pacific because of all the big trees and greenery,” Vest said.

As for life after the awards show, Vest said that she plans to keep working on art.

“I’m actually planning to go to college for it and probably get a master’s degree,” Vest said of her future plans.

Beverly Fletcher has been apart of this art show for 25 years now and says one main reason she loves doing the art show is to honor and give awards to students who work really hard on their artwork all year long.

“I feel that this art show is a very important part of art students’ life and can even be apart of their whole future in art,” Fletcher said.

Over 500 awards were passed out to students from the Fort Worth area in different categories and divisions. This art show has been going on for more than 70 years awarding graduating high school students with scholarship money to help fund their college tuition and pursue their career in art.

Fletcher talked about Sedrick Huckaby, a native of Fort Worth who won 1st place in the art portfolio division when he was a senior in high school.  Huckaby has since became a popular artist with his work going to be featured at the National Gallery in Washington D.C.

Fletcher used this example to show how students can be impacted by this event and the famous artists that have come from this art show.

“I have seen students that have been very positively affected by this event that started 70 plus years ago,” Fletcher said. “Through the Fort Worth ISD we can help students achieve greatness, achieve their dreams and follow their vision of success.”