By Jane Hakiyimana.

AP art students recently competed in the Young Masters Juried Exhibition, and several students placed and earned scholarship money.

Young Masters is a program created by the Abilene Education Foundation aimed to support high levels of artistic achievement from AP art students. The annual Juried exhibition not only gives AP art students a chance to have artwork selected to be showcased at the Grace Museum, but also gives them a chance to compete for valuable college scholarships. Every student is allowed to turn in a maximum of two pieces.

“We’re doing classes that are college-level because sometimes if we get a three or higher, we can use the credit we get from the class to skip a class in college,” junior Glorianna Nichols said. “AP art classes are difficult, so I appreciate that they want to support artists financially and educationally.”

Nichols was one of the students who placed at the Young Master Juried Exhibition, and placed first and second. Nichols says she wasn’t prepared for the exhibition but was required to submit at least one sculpture, which she submitted along with an oil painting she did sophomore year. For first and second Nichols earned a combined total of $2,250 towards scholarships.

Senior Dayna Thompson won the Merit Award, which is fourth place, and won $500 towards scholarship money. Thompson loves digital art, even though it’s not the type of art she submits. Thompson hopes to continue art beyond high school.

“I was really happy about it, getting the Merit award is obviously good,” Thompson said.

Senior Samuel Brooks won the Martha Kiel Merit Award, which is an award named after Martha Kiel, a retired art teacher. Brooks submitted drawings with different types of mediums and earned $400 toward scholarship money. Brooks plans to major in something art-related and is leaning towards graphic design at ACU.

“I love making art, it’s freeing,” Brooks said. “My favorite type of art is drawing with pen and pencil. It’s pretty readily available.”

Senior Rebekah Schmidt won best of the show, which is the best overall of the show. Schmidt earned $2,000 towards scholarship money. Schmidt loves surrealism art, which is art with a realistic feel but at the same time is still off. Schmidt would love to do art as a hobby or business after high school and plans on using her scholarship money towards college at ACU.

“I love the way art is open, it’s freeing, it’s a way for me to express myself,” Schmidt said. “It gives me something to be proud of.”

All the chosen artworks from the Young Masters Juried Exhibition are currently on view downtown at the Grace Museum, from March 25 to April 23.