Eighth-grader Jolie Widamen from Skyview Middle School can’t draw, can’t paint and is definitely not artistic, or at least that’s what she told her mom, Jill DuFloth.
“She’s always the kid saying she can’t do this, can’t do that, that she isn’t artistic at all,” DuFloth said Thursday at Visual Feast, an art show at Kenai Fine Arts Center that brings together art created by students from across the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. The annual event awards students for their pieces and this year, Jolie brought home Best in Show for the middle school division. “It’s great to come to the show, see her award and say, ‘Look! You are artistic.”’
Jolie’s piece is a technicolor cow, created by carving a rubber block and stamping down. Pieces in the show cover a broad spectrum of mediums, including painting, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media. Throughout the school year, Jolie explored the different mediums in class and her winning piece, she said, was a continuation of a theme.
“All quarter long I was doing barnyard animals for our different projects,” Jolie said. “I really wanted to do a cow, and it’s pretty cool because I didn’t expect to get an award at all.”
Many of the students, who come from both middle and high schools, had no idea they were being honored for their work because just having a piece on display in the show is an accomplishment on its own. Art teachers from the different schools nominated pieces from their classes for display. Before Thursday’s opening reception, local community members chose top pieces in each category and a best in show.
“I didn’t think I was going to win anything,” said Kenai Central High School student Dulce Santana of her first place photography award. “I went to Mexico City and had an F in Mr. Morton’s art class because of that, so I took a lot of photos on the trip to change that.”
Santana said she was excited that the trip let her explore her passion for photography and that she’s “hopefully not” failing the class anymore.
The show will be on display at the Kenai Fine Arts Center at 816 Cook Drive in Kenai through the end of the month.