Art hounds

Michael Kroymann, from left, Andrew Baker, Sarah Sullivan, Diana Kassel, Jenna Baldridge, Alyssa Jenkins and Deyvid Lopez are this year’s Artist of the Year candidates at Austin High School. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Michael Kroymann, from left, Andrew Baker, Sarah Sullivan, Diana Kassel, Jenna Baldridge, Alyssa Jenkins and Deyvid Lopez are this year’s Artist of the Year candidates at Austin High School. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

As the school year draws to a close at Austin High School, all eyes begin to turn to one of the most anticipated assemblies of the year — Artist of the Year.

Seven students are in the running for this long-standing tradition that includes Sarah Sullivan, Andrew Baker, Diana Kassel, Jenna Baldridge, Alyssa Jenkins, Deyvid Lopez and Michael Kroyman.

“They’re great — all seven of them,” said Barry Brobeck, one of the three art teachers with Lisa Beschnett and Jake Levison who will judge and determine the Artist of the Year. “It’s going to be very hard to pick a winner.”

As is the case every year, the students came up with a theme, planned and shot a group video and then created videos of their own that reflect the artists themselves.

All of this comes together to create one of the most intriguing opportunities for students around. Coming in on its 17th annual show, the Artist of the Year assembly has grown into and event that’s not only long-awaited by students, but a great show of support for the arts at AHS.

“It’s incredible having the school acknowledge the students and their art,” Levison said.

Not only does the Artist of the Year hand out a scholarship to one lucky student, it involves a large number of the student body as individual awards for different art forms are handed out throughout the roughly hour and a half assembly.

“It’s great,” Brobeck said. “You don’t find this very often. It incorporates the whole school. It’s fun, interesting and something [students] really enjoy.”

This year’s assembly theme is Famous Artists from Past to Present. The assembly is from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday in Knowlton Auditorium. A section near the front will be reserved for parents and members of the public.

Michael Kroymann

•Favorite form of art/what stands that form out from the rest: Acrylic paint. I love the rich colors.

•What attracted you to art in the first place: I hated sports.

•When did you start getting into art: I was, like, 3.

•How has it changed your life: Art has always been a part of my life, so it hasn’t really changed it.

•What are you doing after school: I am going to the University of Minnesota to major in elementary education. Hopefully, I’ll never have to answer questions about my art again.

 Sarah Sullivan

•Favorite form of art/what stands that form out from the rest: Watercolor for sure. It’s a form that can be soft and flowery at times, but it can also be hard and edgy.

•What attracted you to art in the first place: My dad is an art teacher and I looked up to him when I was little and still do.

•When did you start getting into art: When I was a wee child.

•How has it changed your life: Art has become a comfort to me. A way to release. It’s also a way for me to draw something beautiful that I love.

•What are you doing after school: Going to major in fine arts or education in Winona State University.

Andrew Baker

•Favorite form of art/what stands that form out from the rest: Photography. The ability to capture the moment and mood so well.

•What attracted you to art in the first place: I just enjoyed making art. Relaxing and fun.

•When did you start getting into art: Freshman year.

•How has it changed your life: It has really made me appreciate the beauty of everything.

•What are you doing after school: College to study engineering in Madison.

 Diana Kassel

•Favorite form of art/what stands that form out from the rest: Colored pencil because I hated it until I decided to challenge myself and try it. Now it’s a majority of what I use.

•What attracted you to art in the first place: Portrait drawings. I was assigned one in seventh grade and it all started from there. I’ve upgrade to color pencil portraits.

•When did you start getting into art: I’ve always done art when I was I was little. I always did coloring contests and it was just progressing from there.

•How has it changed your life: It’s helped me decide what I want to do for a career.

•What are you doing after school: I’m going to the arts institute in Minneapolis for video production in hopes of working on movies, commercials, music videos, etc.

 Jenna Baldridge

•Favorite form of art/what stands that form out from the rest: Pen and ink. I love the small and intricate detail.

•What attracted you to art in the first place: ?

•When did you start getting into art: When I was very young.

•How has it changed your life: Not sure because art has always been a part of my life.

•What are you doing after school: Becoming a surgical nursing assistant.

 Alyssa Jenkins

•Favorite form of art/what stands that form out from the rest: Photography. One image can tell an entire story.

•What attracted you to art in the first place: Being able to express myself in a way other than words.

•When did you start getting into art: I’ve loved art since kindergarten.

•How has it changed your life: It has taught me creativity which will help with teaching young children.

•What are you doing after school: Attending Wartburg College to major in elementary education.

 Deyvid Lopez

•Favorite form of art/what stands that form out from the rest: Photography. I’m passionate about it.

•What attracted you to art in the first place: Color books in kindergarten.

•When did you start getting into art: From ever since I could remember.

•How has it changed your life: I can look at the world in many perspectives.

•What are you doing after school: Paint ducks, enter federal duck stamp contest.

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