The Yocum Institute for Arts Education Gallery has announced the winners of the 2021 Senior High School Juried Art Exhibit.

Each year, the Yocum Institute for Arts Education welcomes aspiring young artists from Berks County to submit their work for a juried exhibit to be held at the Yocum Institute. This provides students with an opportunity to present their original works of art to the public in a professional gallery setting as well as compete for cash prizes and tuition to Institute classes.

The competition was open to all full-time Senior High school students that reside in or attend school in Berks County. The original work presented will feature oil, watercolor, mixed media, acrylic paint, sculpture, and 3D art.
2021 High School Juried Exhibit Winners: 1st Place, Karleigh Patton | Exeter Sr. High | Grade 12 | A Portrait of Myself (embroidery), 2nd Place, Devan Detwiler | Governor Mifflin | Grade 12 | Lace Code, 3rd Place, Joanna Knepper | Exeter | Grade 11 | Giraffe Box.

The Coggins Award was given to Angelle Rescigno | Tulpehocken |Grade 11 | Possessed Child.

Honorable Mentions: Morgan Herb | Exeter | Grade 10 | Peaceful Glow, Sophia Geddio | Governor Mifflin | Grade 12 | Harmony, Nina Gottschall | Governor Mifflin | Grade 12 | Somewhat Same Lives.

Berks Art Alliance Award was awarded to Luis Delgado | Wyomissing | Grade 11 | Thane in City Lights. Gurman Award was given to Brittany Thuong | Exeter | Grade 10 | Onion Study.

The exhibit was judged by Amanda Lee Condict. Amanda Lee Condict is an illustrator and designer who has worked in graphic arts and publishing her whole life, first as a fashion illustrator for a department store, then as an art director of a monthly magazine and finally as the owner of a graphic design and illustration studio.

She has illustrated for books, magazines and catalogs, created t-shirt and textile designs and done commissioned portraits.

“I was thrilled to be asked to judge this year’s student exhibit because I find the enthusiasm that so many aspiring young artists bring to their work to be inspiring” said Condict.

“This year’s exhibit was impacted by the pandemic as shown by the fewer number of entries but the quality of those entries was impressive. I looked for several things in considering which should receive awards: first and foremost I wanted to see a creative idea that was thoughtfully developed. Secondly, I looked at the handling of the materials, the mastery of the technique used. Finally I considered the craftsmanship of the piece, including the neatness and appropriateness of the presentation.” Condict Added:

The Coggins Award goes to Angelle Rescigno for her graphite and colored pencil portrait, “Possessed Child.” Her masterful mark-making with pencil is as good as any professional work I have ever seen and her selective use of color is very effective.

The Berks Art Alliance Award goes to Luis Delgado III for his photograph, “Thane in City Lights.” His combination of two different photos, a nature scene and an urban one, was very professionally executed, I assume digitally. The composition and design are flawless, and his subdued use of color adds to the mysterious aura.

First Place goes to Karleigh Patton for her quilt, “A Portrait of Myself.” Her sewing skills are on par with experienced quilt-makers and her composition, figure proportions, and color choices are all excellent, as is her finishing and hanging.

Second Place goes to Devan Detwiler for her acrylic painting, “Lace Code.” Her distinctive brushwork and subtle use of color, especially in the black leather boots, made what could have been an overly preachy protest theme into a lively composition that got the point across without being heavy-handed.

Third Place goes to Joanna Knepper for her ceramic piece, “Giraffe Box.” This well- crafted trinket box has an understated circus theme, using geometric shapes and an nicely coordinated color palette that are reminiscent of a more subdued version of a mid-century circus poster.

I chose three Honorable mentions, wanting to include a diverse range of media and techniques. Sophia Geddio’s ink drawing, “Harmony,” exhibits a great sense of design and evokes the feel of those wonderful book illustrations from the early 1900s during the Golden Age of Illustration that made me think of Aubrey Beardsley or Alfonse Mucha. Nina Gottschall’s acrylic painting, “Somewhat Same Lives,” is a colorful ode to the psychedelic art of the sixties with a dash of Keith Haring.

And finally, Morgan Herb’s watercolor, “Peaceful Glow,” is a wonderful example of how beautifully and subtly that medium can express the many variations of white rose petals in all their velvety splendor.

We appreciate the efforts of these talented young artists and their teachers to submit artwork during such a challenging time.

Families are welcome to come see the show during our open hours. Tickets are free. Please be aware of safety precautions in place due to Covid-19. Yocum does require that all guests wear a mask. No more than 10 visitors are allowed in the gallery at a time to allow families to comfortably practice social distancing while viewing the artwork.

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