Text Only Skip to content
Skip header navigation.
Skip sub-section linksSTLCC Home » College News » 2012 » March » STLCC Challenges High School Artists to Think "Sustainably"

STLCC Challenges High School Artists to Think "Sustainably"

March 13, 2012

Abbie Huskey stands next to her award-winning sculpture  

Abbie Huskey of Eureka High School is the
first-place winner of the 2012 Eco-Art Exhibit.
Her piece is titled, "What's Deer to Me."

St. Louis Community College-Wildwood challenged area high school art students to think not only creatively, but also to think sustainably.

Each year the college sponsors a juried art exhibit titled, “Sustainability: It’s an Art.” The exhibit features two- or three-dimensional artwork that speaks to an environmental consciousness in either the theme of the artwork or materials used in its creation.

This year’s artists were from Barat Academy, and Eureka, Lafayette, Marquette and Pacific high schools. In the past, students from John F. Kennedy and Rockwood Summit high schools also have participated.

“We are always amazed by how creative the high school students are, and how varied the submissions are each year,” said Mark Weber, chair of Visual and Performing Arts at STLCC-Wildwood. “Each year the show is very different from the previous year, even though the theme stays the same.”

The exhibit was juried this year by Robin Hirsch, associate director and gallery director of Art Saint Louis, an organization that works to cultivate an appreciation for the role that visual artists play in the community. She has worked on numerous community art events with Chesterfield Arts, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, and has served as the newsletter editor and on the Board of Directors for St. Louis Women’s Caucus for Art. She has judged more than 35 exhibitions in the last 15 years.

Hirsch explained why she thought the theme and the artwork in the exhibit were so powerful.

“Artworks that deal with sensitive subjects have the unique power to change individual, cultural and societal attitudes and behaviors, politics and even laws," she said. "And even if an artist doesn’t necessarily hold a political stance in his or her artwork, just making the art and putting it out in the wide world for others to see has the power to effect change.”

On Thursday, March 8, the college hosted a special reception and awards ceremony for the artists and their families. During the ceremony, awards were given to the top three pieces of art from each high school. An overall first, second and third place was also awarded. Abbie Huskey from Eureka High School received first place for her submission entitled, “What’s Deer to Me.” Second place was awarded by Jenny Chan of Lafayette High School for “Year of the Dragon,” and third place was awarded to Tim Glanvill of Lafayette High School for “Mother Nature.”

The top three award winners received a glass leaf award made from recycled glass and $250, $100 and $50 respectively. A People’s Choice Award was given to the artist whose work received the most number of votes from visitors to the exhibit. More than 300 votes were cast, and Anna Altice from Eureka High School received the honor for “Death in Disguise.”

The college hosts the exhibit and other events during the year as part of its mission to increase awareness, knowledge and skills needed to ensure a sustainable environment for present and future generations.

The Wildwood campus is a “green” campus – the first of its kind in Missouri – built with environmentally friendly materials and architecture. It has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification, the second highest ranking obtainable under the LEED system. The college’s Harrison Center in St. Louis also is certified as LEED gold.

In addition to its facilities, the college also offers a variety of training programs for green careers. The Sustainable Environmental Design Certificate of Specialization is a new program that integrates architectural technology, interior design and landscape design disciplines to prepare students for LEED Green Association certification. Among other programs that the college offers are programs in sustainable construction, hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle maintenance, sustainable energy technology, solar photovoltaic design, and a master naturalist certificate.