WHS students win awards at this year’s Art Symposium

Wheatland High School junior Jadea Graves was presented with The First Lady of Wyoming award for her acrylic painting of a longhorn bull. Graves’ painting will remain on display in the governor’s mansion for the next year. (photo courtesy) Bottom photo by Mark DeLap: Students from Wheatland High School participated in the Art Symposium and many came away with awards. (from left) Danielle Hershey (12), Lily Nichols (10), Jadea Graves (11), and Courtney Dumont (10).

WHEATLAND – Five Wheatland High School students walked away with awards in this year’s Art Symposium.

WHS junior Jadea Graves came away with a top award as she won the First Lady of Wyoming award for her acrylic painting of a longhorn bull.

“This year’s Art Symposium was a wonderful experience for the students as well as for me,” said WHS art teacher Dylan Hancey. This year the WHS art students had the highest concentration of award winners since I have been the art teacher here. Jadea’s 3 blue ribbons, and First lady award are an amazing accomplishment. I believe that she was so successful because she was able to find a genera (western, ranch) that she was able to resonate with and that passion shows in the work that she created.

Lily Nichols who won a First Lady of Wyoming award last year for a giraffe sculpture, captured a blue ribbon in this year’s competition.

“This year Lily Nichols was exposed to different media and techniques than what she has been used to and applied her talent, patience and eye for detail to create wonderful pieces in the new media,” Hancey said.

Danielle Hershey won a blue ribbon for her work with oils.

“I have taught Danielle Since her freshman year, and as a result we worked together to find new and challenging projects to work on during her senior year,” said Hancey. “The first winning project was an oil painting of her little sister, there are many challenges that accompany painting with oils, and there are even more challenges that come with painting a person. She confronted these challenges and was able to create a beautiful piece. Danielle’s other winning piece was an animation that she created digitally, it was a great exercise in a new media.”

Ashlynn Huffer wins a blue ribbon in sculpting.

“Ashlynn Huffer came into my class as a senior without having taken any of my classes before,” Hancey said. “I didn’t know what to expect, as seniors often take my classes thinking it will be an ‘easy A’ or a good place to socialize. Gratefully, she surpassed my expectations, I think that she even surprised those herself, with how well her work and efforts paid off. I found her dedication to learning and growing is what most contributed to her success. She embodied a high level of grit and a growth mindset that I wish all of my students had.”

Courtney Dumont wins a blue ribbon for her acrylic painting.

“Courtney Dumont did a good job at applying the advice and direction that I gave her when she asked for it,” Hancey said.

Blue Ribbon Winners:

 Jadea Graves (11): On the Rocks, acrylic painting; Home on the Range, acrylic Painting; Cowch, Acrylic painting.

Lily Nichols (10): Indian Chief, Nu Paste & Charcoal; Living Gem, colored pencil; Stripes, block print.

Danielle Hershey (12): Little Sister, oil painting; Pillow Animation, digital animation.

Ashlynn Huffer (12): Chad, clay sculpture; Oscar, clay sculpture.

Courtney Dumont (10): Snowy River, acrylic painting.

First Lady of Wyoming award: Jadea Graves (11), Long Horn Bull, acrylic painting.

This last spring, WHS art teacher and yearbook adviser tendered his resignation and is heading to a new adventure, teaching in New Mexico. 

“It is definitely bitter sweet because I want to continue mentoring the students, but I have to balance my career and family,” Hancey said.