Area youth win Scholastic arts awards

By Elyse Kaner
Staff Writer

Several teens in the area have come up winners in the annual 2011-12 Minnesota Scholastic Arts Award competition.

They are art students are from Andover, Anoka, Blaine and Coon Rapids high schools. Area middle school winners are from Anoka Middle School for the Arts and Northdale.

Students were awarded either a Gold Key, Silver Key or honorable mention.

Statewide, a total of 1,276 individual artwork entries and 170 portfolio entries were submitted to the competition. This year, a jury awarded 133 Gold Keys and 167 Silver Keys for individual entries. Eleven Gold Keys and 16 Silver Keys were awarded for portfolio entries. The jury also awarded 228 individual Merit Awards and 40 Portfolio Merit Awards.

Nathalie Pedracine, a senior at Blaine High School, won a Gold Key for her mixed media piece titled “Looking Inward.” For her winning piece, she drew a figure, part skeletal and part woman, with long hair streaming to her shoulders. The figure is placed against a backdrop collage of newspaper clippings and personal handwriting pieces.

“I try to do a different style, yet have different aspects to it,” Pedracine said, adding she likes to think outside the box.

Michael Lu, a junior at Coon Rapids High School, also was named a Gold Key winner for a piece he created in ceramics called “Variations on a Cube.”

This was Lu’s first ceramics class. He likes that art gives him the opportunity to express himself differently, he said.

Lu views his artistic endeavors more as a hobby.

“I learned that I have a little bit of artist in me,” he said about winning the Gold Key.

Open to seventh- through 12th-graders, the MSAA program is affiliated with the National Scholastic Art Awards program. The program recognizes the state’s most creative teenagers and offers scholarship opportunities to graduating seniors, according to the MSAA website.

The Minnesota teen artists’ winning pieces will be on display at the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design (MCAD) at 2501 Stevens Ave. through Feb. 26. Selected works will advance this spring to a national competition in New York City.

State winners will be honored in three separate ceremonies Feb. 26 at MCAD.

Area student artists honored in the program are:

Andover High School

Kori Colvin, grade 12, drawing, Gold Key, ceramics, honorable mention; Kiya Deuel, grade 10, drawing, Silver Key; Jared Porter, grade 12, drawing and painting categories, honorable mention.

Art teachers are Angela Heida and Suzanne Hughes.

Anoka High School

Keuler Summer, grade 12, painting, Gold Key; Frankie Halter, grade 10, drawing, Gold Key; Amy Kampf, grade 12, digital art, Gold Key; Ilona Shisko, grade 10, mixed media, honorable mention.

Teachers are Diane Gronewold and Kevan Nitzberg.

Blaine High School

Michael Voit, grade 11, film and animation, Gold Key; Chelsea Novotny, grade 12, drawing and paint, Silver Keys; Nathalie Pedracine, grade 12, drawing, Gold Key; Tori Veth, grade 12, drawing, honorable mention.

Teachers are Kim Blevins, Kimberly Schenk and Patricia Undis.

Coon Rapids High School

Annie Compton, grade 12, ceramics, honorable mention; Sean Harkess, grade 12, ceramics, honorable mention; Chloe Jacobsen, grade 10, ceramics, honorable mention; Teal Lamusga, grade 11, ceramics, honorable mention; Tarah Lowe, grade 10, ceramics, Gold Key; Michael Lu, grade 11, ceramics, Gold Key; Megan Mensen, grade 10, ceramics, Silver Key; Michael Schneider, grade 10, ceramics, Gold Key; Elizabeth Socha, grade 11, ceramics, Gold Key; Karli Wies, grade 12, ceramics, Silver Key; Shelby Awada, grade 12, printmaking, Gold Key; Emma Young, grade 10, painting, Silver Key.

Teachers are: Sarah Hjelmberg and Jennifer Latuff.

Middle schools

Anoka Middle School for the Arts

Marion Gray, grade eight, drawing, Gold Key; Alina Nguyen, grade eight, drawing, Silver Key; Brendan Simmonds, grade eight, drawing, Silver Key; Kaylee Wiskus, grade eight, drawing, Silver Key; and Cameron Henderson, grade eight, drawing, honorable mention. Teacher is Matt Malette.


Kendra Haller, grade eight, painting, Gold Key; Riley Shore, grade eight, painting, Silver Key. Teacher is Alison Wanner.

Perpich Arts High School

Sophia Reed, a Coon Rapids resident and senior at Perpich Arts High School in Golden Valley, received an honorable mention in the film and animation category.

For more information, visit

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]