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Keller’s students show off their creative side with gold seals at state art competition


A VASE and beautiful things often go hand in hand.

Seven students from the Keller School District recently showcased their talents by winning the Gold Seal at the state’s annual visual arts school event.

Gold Seal recipients will receive a gold state medallion, the equivalent of a state championship. Their artwork will be on display in venues across the state, culminating with the Gold Seal exhibit at the Texas Art Education Association’s annual fall conference.

“During a difficult year, our art teachers have shown incredible ingenuity and creativity,” said Kim Blann, Director of Fine Arts at Keller ISD. “We have organized individual art supply kits for our remote students, allowing student artists to pick up supplies or have them delivered to their homes in some cases. Our teachers went above and beyond to keep art supplies in the hands of our remote KISD students, while continuing to do the same for students attending classes in person.

“Although our students did not have the opportunity to attend the State VASE competition in person this year, the virtual competition allowed our students to stay engaged and create art. We are incredibly proud of our student artists and believe that our world needs more people to create beautiful art. “

Keller ISD had 47 state qualifiers and the most Gold Seal recipients in district history. Keller District has been a part of this competition for many years, noted Craig Gould, an art teacher at Keller High School.

“We support this activity for our artists, because it not only allows them to work in detail on a work of art and receive comments from a juror, but it gives them the opportunity to talk about their work, articulate their choices and verbalize the meaning of their piece, ”said Gould.

“In 2015, when I was in my first year as an instructor at Keller High School, we had three students who qualified for the state competition. 2021 marked the third consecutive year for our campus with more than 22 pieces qualified for the event. The five gold seals awarded to students at Keller High are the highest in my term.

Here are the seven students who received Gold Seals, including the title of their coin and their respective schools and instructors:

Ella Chen, Keller High, “Stuck in Time”. Instructor Cary McNutt.

Reagan D. Sandlin, Keller High, “Exhibit A”. Instructor Chris Stickel.

Grace Keltner, Keller High, “Reputation”. Instructor Craig Gould.

Luke Kostohryz, Keller High, “God’s Messenger Was a Bird.” Gould.

Allison R. Rudinski, Keller High, “Tess”. Instructor Kerri Mullin.

Jamie Pag-Ong, Timber Creek High, “Jamie Plays Guitar”. Instructor Camille Gibbons-Kerr.

Skylar Wright, Timber Creek High, “Fish Bowl Tears”. Instructor Mikaela Jaros.

“I had actually sent the reference photo that I used for my ‘Reputation’ article to VASE last year in the photography category, where it also received a rating of 4, but did not go to State. It made my 2021 VASE victory in the state all the more rewarding, ”said Keltner, a junior.

“The competition was so much fun, because I met so many talented artists. It’s an honor to be able to participate and to see these artists in their element, ”added Pag-Ong, a freshman.



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