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about the exhibit

VISIONARIES, now in its 34th year, is an open student art exhibit featuring original artwork completed by young artists living in the North Platte Valley region.  Each year a call for artists is sent to area schools and art instructors. 

The exhibit is open to students attending Grades 6 - 12.  Participates represented this year include: 4-H Kimball, Agape Love Homeschool, Alliance High School, Alliance Middle School, Banner County School, Bayard Schools, Bluffs Middle School, Bridgeport High School, Emerson Grade School, Gannon Home School, Gering High School, Minatare High School, Minatare Middle School, Mitchell High School, Scottsbluff High School, Sidney High School, Sioux County High School and Westmoor Home School. Judge Priscilla Sandoz Bailey selected 17 awards from 213 entries created by 157 artists.

Five of the awards are donated in memory of Audrey Towater. Her paintings have shown in numerous venues throughout the state and she received numerous awards and commissions for her unique impressionistic style. Towater was known for painting “on the spot” and was invited to paint events and celebrations nationwide. She painted internationally, traveling to East Germany in 1989 to paint the demolition of the Berlin Wall. Towater’s paintings are included in public and private collections around the nation including the collections of President Reagan, President Ford and Bob Hope.  Some of her work can be viewed at Legacy of the Plains in Gering.

Judge’s statement

“It is incredible that children are exploring art. It is necessary! If you don’t cultivate it here, then it will not grow. So, I am privileged to judge this remarkable show, “says Priscilla Sandoz Bailey. 


Best of Show

BS - Cassidy Coalson - In My Element-2.jpg

Cassidy Coalson. Division 2. Bridgeport High School. In My Element.
“Amazing, fun, great title to complement piece. The warm and cool play well together. The mix of abstract and realism complement well. The size really helps to make the piece as well. Nice color complexity. Great work!”

Audrey Towater Awards for Outstanding Artwork 

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 Ziphorah N. Starkey. Division 2. Sioux County High. Country Side Blurr.
“Evokes lots of emotion leaving the viewer room to engage structure of composition. It still works great. Nicely done!”

ATOA - Nicole Ahlers - A Friend Filled with Envy-2.jpg

Nicole Ahlers. Division 2. Scottsbluff High School.  A Friend Filled with Envy. 
“The title adds to this work. Great Line! Nice energy. It is fun and evokes emotion. Well done.”

ATOA  - Isabelle Buck - Cole, the Cat Lover-2.jpg

Isabelle Buck. Division 2. Bayard High School. Cole, the Cat Lover.
“Great texture. Positive and negative space, dark and light, even some lost edges. Well done!”

ATOA - Brooke Kramer - The Grinch-2.jpg

Brooke Kramer. Division 2. Bridgeport High School. The Grinch.
“Great use of medium. I especially appreciate the structure. Well done! Very creative!”

ATOA - Axel Nillson - Primary-2.jpg

Axel Nilsson. Division 2. Mitchell High School. Primary.
“Color Scheme works well with its minimalism. I especially like the light blue edge that unifies the piece.”

Outstanding Artwork Award

OA - Logan  Nichols - Custer State Park-2.jpg

Logan Nichols. Division 2. Bridgeport High School. Custer State Park.
“Nice use of medium. Great composition, use of space, color and temperature work well in creating space and depth.” 

OA - Sydney Petitt - Homegrown-2.jpg

Sydney Petitt. Division 2. Scottsbluff High School.  Homegrown.
Nice composition, complementary color scheme, it really had depth. Great work.”

OA - Josue Araiza-Espinoza - Hitting the Bricks-2.jpg

Josue Araiza Espinoza. Division 2. Scottsbluff High School.  Hitting the Bricks. |
“Great use of color. Great reflection and warm shadows. The translucently of graffiti alludes to the brick texture still present. Great work.”

OA - Sarah Lang - Climate Change-2.jpg

Sarah Lang. Division 2. Bridgeport High School. Climate Change.
“Great use of texture. Your sculpture invites great cast shadows, and light play. Nice work!”

OA - Alexia Tallmon - The Flying Cattleheart Ranch-2.jpg

Alexia Tallmon. Division 2. Gering High School.  The Flying Cattleheart Ranch.
“Well done. Nice composition. This piece leaves the viewer room to explore spatial and fun.” 

OA - Anna Garner - Rebel-2.jpg

Anna Garner. Division 2.  Bridgeport High School. Rebel. 
“Outstanding! Evokes emotion. Great use of medium with texture (thickness) and color. Subtle but effective at directing eye movement and interest.”   

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Ryan Vasquez.  Division 1. Bridgeport Middle School.  Walking.
“Simple effective, strong feeling. Great use of medium. The piece has great dimension, shadow and the right complexity. Great piece!” 

OA - Mykenzie Waugh - Dancing Dog-2.jpg

Mykenzie Waugh. Division 2. Chadron High School.  Dancing Dog.  
“Great use of texture and the warm colors at the face help to draw the viewer in. Great sculpting in the mouth and ears. Fun!”

OA - Emma Ramsey - Drawing 1-2.jpg

Emma Ramsey.  Division 2. Sidney High School.  Drawing #1.
“Great Structure, light to dark ratio and texture variation. This piece evokes emotion and engages the viewer! Nice use of negative space.” 

OA - Gisle Guerrero - Flowers in a Blue Sea!-2.jpg

Gisele Guerrero. Division 1.  Minatare High School.  Flowers in a Blue Sea.
“Your colors work well with one another, I love that the direction of your yarn was used as much as other elements. Nice balance, well done! Creative and fresh.” 

Judges Choice Award 

Judges Choice - Karli Chirstofferson - Bubble Gum-2.jpg

Karli Christofferson. Division 2.  Sidney High School. Bubble Gum. “I love this piece! I felt it needed to be recognized.”


Priscilla Sandoz Bailey

I have enjoyed working in a variety of mediums which has taught me to explore the elements of art in texture, shape, line, color, composition and how they relate to one another.  My focus is oil on canvas.  I use broken cubist like lines to shatter and distort the representational subject. In this way I wish to depict the composition in fractured light and color.  I look to Picasso, Braque and Cezanne for inspiration.  Their work was bold and innovative as they pioneered the contemporary art movement.  I wish to draw from them and to represent what I see in a bold, thought provoking way as they did.  As an artist it is increasingly important to be surrounded with other artists and art.  We can push each other to grow, continually learning and exploring.  Throughout history many generations of artist's have reaped the reward of their community.  I am married to a professional artist and together we have participated in art shows across the United States and Canada.  I feel privileged to see firsthand many kinds of art and the amazing artists that are contributing to art as a whole.  I believe art is for everyone. It is as much the viewers as the person who creates it.  We barrow for our life's experiences.  An artist is just one of those people who get to share their vision and adventures.

Sponsored by

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thank you

 We give our utmost gratitude to First State Bank for their financial leadership in sponsoring this exhibit.

 We would also like to acknowledge the art instructors who go above and beyond to encourage and inspire these students.  Thank you for your dedication to art education.

Thank you to Vic Bentley, Jan Durnin, Vicki Schmit, Cheryl Wilkinson, Karen Mecklem, Mary Hunt for their assistance in installing the exhibit. We would like to thank John Mentgen for music and Priscilla Sandoz Bailey for taking your time to judge the exhibit. Thank you to the North Platte Valley Artist Guild and Board Members for providing food for the reception.

Thank you to each student participating in this exhibit. Great work!

about WNAC

The West Nebraska Arts Center is a 501c3 cultural non-profit organization committed to education, awareness and excellence in the arts, serving the North Platte Valley Region.  WNAC is located at the corner of 1st Avenue and 18th Street in Scottsbluff, NE.  Visit the gallery free of charge Tuesday through Friday 9 to 5, Weekends from 1 to 5.  www.thewnac.com. find us on Facebook.



The West Nebraska Arts Center is a cultural non-profit organization committed to education, awareness and excellence in the arts, serving the North Platte Valley Region.  WNAC is located at 106 East 18th Street in Scottsbluff, NE.  Visit the Arts Center’s website, www.thewnac.com or find us on Facebook to learn more.  The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported this program through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.  Visit www.nebraskaartscouncil.org for information on how the Nebraska Arts Council can assist your organization, or how you can support the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.