A group photo of the Sartell students who attended the MSHSL art competition. (Angela Heckman)
A group photo of the Sartell students who attended the MSHSL art competition.

Angela Heckman

Sartell students take on MSHSL visual arts competition

May 1, 2019

Angela Heckman
A clothing article created and submitted by Kautra Grant, a junior at Sartell.

The long-awaited Minnesota State High School League Visual Arts Competition was held last Friday, April 26th at the Alexandria Technical and Community College.

MSHSL is a non-profit organization that aids in providing educational opportunities for high school students to showcase their abilities through sports and the arts since 1916. 

This exhibition displayed a multitude of pieces across several different mediums, including painting, graphic design, and ceramics. These pieces came from students throughout the region, from schools such as Willmar High School, Monticello High School, Fergus Falls, and Sauk Rapids High School.

Roughly 40 students all left Sartell High School at 8 a.m. to arrive at the college by 9:30 a.m. to observe the artwork before they attended a few testimonies by local speakers. 


Brinn Akervik
A director at Alexandria Technical and Community College during the presentations

Paul Johnson, the Alexandria Technical and Community College art instructor, was also one of the directors of this annual event who spoke about his journey through art.

Johnson discussed how most artists surround themselves with their rivals, but should never treat them as such. As artists, one can learn and grow from everyone around them. Upon stating this, Johnson introduced another speaker, Leanne Larson, who is the founder and owner of Art Bar 39, a traveling paint party company based in Alexandria, Minnesota. 

Larson lectured on what being an artist meant to her and explained her exploration in finding her passion. 

Angela Heckman
Sartell students combing 2d art and 3d art for the activity/competition

She showed her appreciation for all of the students’ work by thanking them for always creating art. Larson simply added, “Without art, we wouldn’t be able to be who we are.”

Following the presentations, students made their way to the cafeteria to participate in a friendly competition.

The competition prompt was to combine 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art, ultimately creating a sculpture using random objects around the room or items a student brought personally. This portion of the event was chaotic with every student running around the room to find utensils and ingredients to use on their own project. 

Not long after students began, it was time to judge the art and eat lunch. 

The cafeteria provided everyone with very mediocre pizza, mainly sausage pizza, and it was the most criticized by the masses. 

Angela Heckman
More Sartell students who attended the MSHSL competition in Alexandria

The main area of the cafeteria was overcrowded, so many students spilled over into the adjoining room, which was the game room, where at least ten college security officers were happily playing foosball and pool. 

As students finished consuming their lunch, directors emerged with a microphone to commence the awards “ceremony.” 

Students’ artwork was judged by two different evaluators and was critiqued on overall composition, craftsmanship, the process, expressive qualities, and the artist statement. The maximum amount of points summed up to be 20 total. Based on the amount of points received, a student received a rating and were awarded based on their ratings.

Several students from every school were awarded the “Excellent Rating” which were based on how knowledgable a student was of specific skills and principles of art and if the student was able to accurately demonstrate them, along with showing improvement throughout the piece. Many students noticed that an “Excellent Rating” fell around 15 to 17 points out of 20.

Above the excellent rating was the “Superior Rating.” This score was given to students who could demonstrate their art knowledge precisely and fluently. Students who received this rating also made artistic choices that not only improved but transformed a piece. 

The “Best of Show” scores were given to a select few and would advance them to a second art competition held at the Perpich Center for Arts Education on May 11th, 2019.

Of the 16 pieces submitted by Sartell, 13 received awards.

Superior awards were granted to Lauren Lindmeier, James Smith, Gillian Orth, and Libby Crandall.

Excellence awards were presented to Jackson Brown, Kiley Rodarmel, Javada Ringwelski, Logan Tesch, Kautra Grant, Greta Teich, James Smith, Gillian Orth, and Brinn Akervik.

More information about the upcoming exhibition can be found on the Minnesota State High School League’s official website.

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Sartell students take on MSHSL visual arts competition