COVID-19 has created several challenges over the last few months, and the graduating seniors have especially been affected by the cancellation of school.
Ste. Genevieve and Valle seniors have seen the cancellation or postponement of activities such as sports, proms, honors assemblies, and award shows.
The Ste. Genevieve Art Guild sponsors an annual County High School Art Show and scholarship competition each April, but the show had to be canceled this year.
“I have a granddaughter that is a 2020 graduate so I have seen, first-hand, the canceled activities and challenges she has had to face,” said art show chairperson, Juanita Wyman. “But, as we have seen all over, people have tried to think outside the box to offer ways to honor and to recognize these seniors.
Under the circumstances, the art guild opted to award the annual Bette Geraghty Memorial scholarship to a qualifying senior, using digital means.
The guidelines state that an applicant must declare art as his or her minor or major area of study and must submit a portfolio of between 10 and 15 works along with a recommendation from his or her art teacher and a written statement that includes his or her plans for college.
Traditionally, the art teacher often helps a student prepare their work for presentation, but making a digital submission required the student to take more responsibility for not only photographing the artwork, but for assembling it along with the letter and statement in a professional manner.
Wyman copied the submissions to the committee of five, who also returned their votes by e-mail.
“I wanted the process to be the same as we have always required of students, and not just ‘give’ the scholarship,” Wyman said.
Brittni Bader, the winner of the scholarship, did not disappoint.
One committee member said the art work, especially the pottery, was very impressive, but that she was also impressed with her work ethic and desire to pursue an art teaching degree.
Another member said, “I think I was as much impressed with the fact she was willing to put in the time to do the work to present her portfolio as I was of the quality of the work.”
Bader’s teacher, Jamie Bauman, said, “Brittini is a cadet teacher and required to not only assist the teacher, but encouraged to interact and help the Fundamentals of Art students and their projects. “
Wyman said said the guild was pleased to award the $500 Bette Geraghty Memorial Scholarship to Bader.
“We didn’t get to have the art show where students could showcase their work and win awards and prizes, but we did get to honor one senior, and I’m happy about this,” Wyman said.
Bader is the daughter of Michelle and Edward Bader.
She plans to attend Mineral Area College to get an associate of arts degree and then transfer to either University of Missouri-St. Louis or Southeast Missouri State University.
She will pursue an art teaching degree.
(Information in a release from the Ste. Genevieve Art Guild.)