Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn Rural, Topeka West Students among Winners of Kansas Art Competition

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn Rural, Topeka West Students among Winners of Kansas Art Competition

Article excerpt

Two Topeka-area high school students won awards in the 2016 "Kansans ... As Talented As You Think!" high school art competition, co-founded and co-directed by local arts advocates Grant Glenn and Don Lambert.

Aric Zillinger, a senior at Washburn Rural High School, received first place in the painting category for his work "The Blind Vulture."

Zillinger said the painting was inspired by an American Indian folk tale about a blind vulture. He began the piece with a linoleum block print and then projected it onto a larger canvas to make it bigger. He then painted it with acrylics.

"I'm pretty darn excited," Zillinger said of the contest's results.

He plans to study illustration, animation or graphic design at a yet-to-be-decided college.

Adriana Lane, a senior at Topeka West High School, won in the black and white photo category for her work "Aged Piano."

The image was taken in the house where her grandfather lived as a child, but is now abandoned.

"Photography has given me the chance to express myself in a way I have never been able to before," she said.

After graduating, Lane plans to attend Washburn University and major in art.

She said winning was "pretty cool because that's what I want to do in my profession."

Grant said the contest is important because the recognition can have a positive impact on young artists, as well as their teachers. The funding for the arts in Kansas, he noted, is tenuous.

"It's really a struggle," he said.

The competition, now in its 10th year, consists of eight categories plus a Best of Show award.

The first round of judging was carried out by three judges who chose three to four finalists in each category. Judges are artists or connected to Kansas art museums, said Lambert. Over the years, there have been 40 judges.

This year judges selected 26 works as finalists.

Ron Michael, director of The Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, judged the finalists' pieces, picking a winner in each of the categories.

Judging is always a difficult process and the entries in the competition were very strong, Michael said. …

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