PHS Named Outstanding Public School Art Department | Education Subscription Offer

PAOLA — Deanna Morgan and the Paola High School Art Department received the Mary Ann Grimes Next Generation Travel Trophy during a celebration of local high school artists at Town Square Event Design on Wednesday, March 2.

Mary Ann Grimes was on hand for the award presentation and traveling trophy for the Next Generation 2022 art exhibition “Explorations” presented at the Reflections Art Gallery located at the Miami County Medical Center.

Morgan and Paola’s Art Department received the Traveling Trophy and a $500 check for being selected for Outstanding Public School Art Department.

Miami County Art Students submitted 53 works of art. Karen Gerety Folk, curator of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art located in Johnson County, volunteered her time to serve as a juror. Folk has selected 20 pieces to display at the Reflections art gallery for the “Explorations” art exhibition from January 2 to March 2.

“Wreck,” a play by Paola High School student Elsie Fleming, was named Best Show by Folk. Fleming received a $250 cash prize from the Miami County Arts Coalition.

“I had just moved to a new school when I created this piece,” Fleming said. “It reflects the inner conflict I experienced as I deciphered the many emotions I felt in the face of change.

“I felt detached from myself as I tried to figure out who I was in this new environment,” she said. “The oil pastel I felt reflected the mess, or wreckage, I felt at the time.”

The ‘Explorations’ art exhibition featured works by Paola’s students: Elsie Fleming, Luke Faunce, Emma Bishop, Kali Hickman and Emily Weigell; Spring Hill students: Samantha Winebrenner, Halle Williams, Lilly Yoder, Ashlyn Lake, Katlyn Kimmi, Ruby Dickie, Kastin Galloway, Madison Stults, and Kael Knittel; and Louisbourg students: Mariya Kasych, Jillian Staver, Jordan Mynsted, Sophie Sommers and Garrett Poe.

Grimes is one of the founders of the Miami County Art Coalition. She is the first curator of the Explorations exhibit and continues to inspire participation in the Coalition’s Next Generation Student Art Exhibit. As a former public school educator, Grimes reminds everyone of the importance of art programs in public schools.

Rollin Karg created the traveling trophy. He became an engineer who became a photographer, became a potter, became a cabinetmaker, became a glassblower. Karg studied hot glass at Emporia State University.

The trophy is a rare combination of four hand-blown glass globes that reflect the light seen in high school art departments and student talent.

Spring Hill won the first Outstanding Public School Art Department award in 2019. The show did not take place in 2020 due to COVID-19.

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