Students win several awards at art show

Matt Troher, A&E Editor

Most art exhibitions are filled to the brim with variety, showcasing various differences in style and size. The Chicagoland 4×5 High School Art Exhibition, more commonly known as the 4×5, is not like most art exhibitions.
The 4×5, a yearly art exhibition hosted at Oswego High School, and has been a tradition for seventeen years. The namesake of the exhibit comes from the unusual requirements for each piece in the show, as they must be four inches by five inches in dimension. The 4×5 has been billed as “the nation’s largest ‘small’ art show” by event coordinators. This is due to the fact that over 1000 pieces are displayed at the event.
Pieces in the exhibit must fit into one of nine categories; drawing, painting, analog photography, digital photography, relief, sculpture, computer generated imagery, printmaking, and mixed-media. In this year’s exhibition, over 40 schools from the Chicagoland area submitted over 900 pieces of artwork. From these over 900 pieces, nine DGN students took home awards for their art.
The show also provided artists with the opportunity to present their portfolios to art schools for the first time.
Of the nine categories, DGN took home first place prizes in three of them. One of these three winners was senior Victoria (Vicki) Brown. Brown took home the grand prize in the “relief” category. Pieces of art in the relief category must be “made with a three-dimensional element but not seen in the round”.
For her piece, entitled “Tidal Wave”, Brown faced her share of challenges during its creation.
“I had a part of my piece where I was going to use a picture of myself, and it ended up getting ruined. About a day before my piece was supposed to go to the art show, I had to rethink it and come up with a solution. It was very difficult to try and figure that out,” Brown said.
Brown’s piece, which took a total of three weeks to create, was made out of a variety of materials, such as copper, brass, nickel, and glass. “I didn’t expect to win anything, so when I got there and saw a blue star next to my piece, I was excited” said Brown about her winning experience.
Another one of the winners from DGN was junior Mia Knutson, who took home first place in the Computer Generated category. Her piece, entitled “Creepin”, initially started out as a sketch in her, but after some guidance from her teacher, Mr. Voelker, she decided to expand on it.
“I knew my piece was in the show, but Mr. Voelker [an art teacher at DGN] didn’t tell me that I won, so I was very excited when I found out!” Knutson said.
When sticking to the size requirements, the Computer Generated category proved to be easier than others.
“The were a couple things I wanted to do but I couldn’t, because of the requirements, but because it was digital, it is less complicated because you can just scale it down,” Knutson said.
Prizes for first place finishers include a trophy, as well as a $50 gift card to Blick Art Stores, one of the partners of the 4×5.
Other DGN students honored at the show include Junior Kaitlyn Almazan, who took home first place in the Drawing category, Junior Lucy Quinn, and Senior Patrick Adelman who both received honorable mentions in the relief category.