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Jefferson artists recognized with top honors in State Art Connected Competition

Stockton Luvunzu and Hildebrand

Artists from Jefferson High School were recognized for their work in a state competition. 

Jefferson High School artist Mya Hildebrand (Class of 2024) was recognized with the Illinois Best of Show award at the 2023 IHSAE/Art Connected State Art Exhibition.

The Northern Regional Exhibition is one of Illinois’ largest and most influential student art exhibitions held every spring in Chicago celebrating artistic achievement and providing talented young artists with opportunities to showcase their artwork and compete at a state level. Each year, over 150 high schools from across the state participate in this juried exhibition with the top entries in each category awarded prizes and recognition. This exhibition celebrates artistic expression, achievement, and provides talented young artists with the opportunity to showcase their work and represent their school.

"Just a little tighter" and "Caution"

Hildebrand's self-portrait work was selected for Best of Show recognition in the Drawing Division. Her black and white figurative pastel drawing titled “Just a Little Tighter”, explores body image and self-judging. Her work forces the viewer to consider the entire spectrum of emotions and experiences that people face when questioning their physical and emotional selves, ranging from body dysmorphia to binge eating. Mya will be a senior at JHS this school year.

Prosper Luvunzu (Class of 2023) received the State Silver Award in the Senior Exhibition for his pastel work titled “Caution”. He competed against over 300 senior artists from across the state submitting portfolios to compete for individual awards as well as scholarships. Prosper received 4 scholarship offers and will be attending Illinois Wesleyan University in the fall majoring in art and pre-med. His award-winning work addresses making the viewer react to uncomfortable and intolerable situations such as the violent and racially motivated lynching of Black Americans throughout history.

Student artwork was judged by category with top entries in 8 categories being recognized: Drawing, Painting, Photography, Design, Mixed Media, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Time Arts. The IHSAE Main Event was held on April 23rd, at the Bridgeport Art Center bringing the best student artists from 150 Illinois, suburban, public and private high schools to compete and celebrate the power of art in their lives.

More information can be found on the IHSAE website.

Lynn Stockton

Lynn Stockton is an art teacher at Jefferson High School where she teaches all levels of studio art including AP Studio Art.

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