Mears Art Exhibit at Oshkosh Public Library

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March 7, 2016 – It is the 100th anniversary of the death of sculptor Helen Farnsworth Mears and art from the contest that bears her name is currently on display at the Oshkosh Public Library. The exhibit in the library’s lower level features winning entries by Oshkosh middle school students in the annual contest, which is sponsored by the GFWC-Oshkosh Women’s Arts Club. The art will be on display through March 30.

The contest honors Mears, a sculptor (1871-1916) from Oshkosh whose works are in the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian, Wisconsin Capitol, museums, and public spaces. The Oshkosh Women’s Arts Club is a chapter of the WI-General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which inaugurated the annual memorial state contest in 1927.

The statewide annual art competition encourages and recognizes artistic development and achievement among 7th and 8th grade students in public, private and home schools. Eight schools in Oshkosh, including Grace Lutheran, participating for the first time, submitted artworks in painting and sculpture categories. Oshkosh place-winners continue on to district competition in De Pere, where three winners in each category are selected to move on to state competition in Sturgeon Bay.

This year’s winners from Oshkosh middle schools are:

Class A two–dimensional art (painting and drawing)

– 1st place – Ji Won Hwany, Valley Christian
– 2nd place – Lilly Lloyd, Carl Traeger
– 3rd place – Adam Willcome, Merrill

Class A three-dimensional art

1st place – Anna Zimmerman, South Park
2nd place – Angelica Becker, Merrill
3rd place – Jessica Jorgenson, Merrill

 Class B two-dimensional art (from schools with no full-time art teacher)

1st place – Jasmine Paulsen, Grace Lutheran
2nd place – Joshua Mauritz, Grace Lutheran
3rd place – Max Janacek, Grace Lutheran

Honorable Mention was awarded to: Chloe Abitz, Hailey Weikert, Breelyn Bruss – South Park; Joel O’Brien and Matthew Curtis – Valley Christian; Lucia Reljic – Webster Stanley; Olivia Youngbauer – Merrill; Joely Hurkman – Lourdes Academy; Maura Diedrich – Perry Tipler; and Carly Groskreutz – Grace Lutheran.

Each year, three students receive the Legislator Award from Oshkosh area legislators who have chosen the students’ artwork for their offices at the Capitol in Madison. This year’s selections are:

Sen. Rick Gudex – McKenzie Grusczynski, Merrill, Elements of Art Hand

Rep. Gordon Hintz – Nora Sammons, Lourdes Academy, Colorful Canis

Rep. Michael Schraa – Dalton Griese, Valley  Christian, Dragon Eel Puppet

Photos of the legislators with their chosen artwork are posted on the Oshkosh Public Library’s Facebook page.

Judges for the contest were Joann Keen, art teacher at Jefferson and Washington Elementary schools, and Christina Hyde, art teacher at Oshkosh North High School. Shirley Brabender Mattox of Oshkosh is the state chairman for the Helen Farnsworth Mears Art Contest.

An Awards Reception will be held in the library’s lower level from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 13, with the awards presentation at 2 p.m. Students and families, art teachers, artists and supporters of the arts are welcome to attend.

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Justin R. Mitchell

Justin is the founding editor of the Oshkosh Independent.

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