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KidsArts Gallery winners announced
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Visitors to the recent Driftless Area Art Festival held in Soldiers Grove admired the creations of professional artists, as well as the works of over 600 young artists from the region. There were watercolors, oil paintings, photographs, prints, collages, masks and other works, and eight earned top billing in their categories.

KidsArt Gallery student artists represented DeSoto, Kickapoo, North Crawford, Richland, Seneca and Wauzeka-Steuben School Districts. They also represented St. Charles ?Parochial School in Genoa, Wyalusing Academy in Prairie du Chien and the Laurel and Youth Initiative High Schools in Viroqua. Home-schooled students from Ferryville and Soldiers ?Grove, as well as individual pieces from Boscobel students were also entered in the Kids Art Gallery.

Chosen for a Blue Ribbon in the Grades 1 – 3 Category was Emma Kapinus, with the watercolor “Sunflower Burst.” Emma, whose teacher is Lois Schwert of the Wauzeka-Steuben Elementary School, is the daughter of Chris and Jen Kapinus.

Laura Buchner’s ?carving “Song of Springtime” won the Blue Ribbon in the Grades 4-5 Category.  Created from a drywall block with acrylics, it features an oriole on a branch, ?singing its heart out.  Her parents are Joseph and Meg Buchner of Ferryville, and her teacher is her mother, Meg Buchner.

The Blue Ribbon for the Middle School Category went to Jadynn Yocum.  On a school field trip to Minneapolis, she saw raindrops dancing in puddles ?and started taking pictures.  “Water Droplets” is the result.  Jadynn, daughter of David and Jackie Yocum of LaFarge, attends Kickapoo Middle School, where her teacher is Tom Modrich.

Besides a ribbon, gifts to each of the three artists included a $30 check along with a framed copy of their work, received during presentations at each of their schools. The originals will be sold during a live auction at the spring Driftless Area Art Festival Gala, with proceeds from each work going to support the art program in that student’s school.

“The art work this year was exceptional and supporting school art programs is a continuing commitment of the Gallery and the Art Festival,” said KidsArt Gallery coordinator Sherry Quamme.

This year’s KidsArt Gallery began a new tradition, including teen artists.

“We’re really happy to expand the Gallery to include older students, several of whom have serious art ambitions,” said Anne Tedeschi, a watercolor artist and teacher/mentor to area artists of all ages. “As we celebrate their accomplishments, we also encourage them to continue their artistic development.”

The Best of Show Blue Ribbon, a $50 check, and art supplies went to Julia Rose Morgan, a senior at Viroqua’s Laurel High School. Julia spent much of the past summer working on her winning oil painting, “April Showers Predict May Disasters.”

An Honorable Mention Award, which included a ribbon and art supplies, went to Laurel High School graduate Sidney Westerhoff for “Poetry, ” a collage employing her ?own poems, pen and ink drawings and? watercolor paintings. Both winning works will be displayed in the VIVA Gallery window for a month.

Teen Achievement awards went to three young artists. Rachel Nigh of Viroqua was recognized for her acrylic painting.  Meria Wainscott, a 2011 Youth Initiative High School graduate from Viroqua, and Maren Reser, a senior at Kickapoo High School, were recognized for their outstanding photography.

Sponsors for KidsArt Gallery included Dependable Solutions, Rotary Club of Prairie du Chien, Sut Hill Auto Sales, Children’s Advisory Board of Prairie du Chien, and the Kenneth K. Kinsey Family Foundation.