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Nevis artist wins award at Youth Art Exhibit

Krysten Sauser, a junior at Nevis High School, entered the Youth Art Exhibit and won a scholarship to an MCAD summer session. (Photos by Shannon Geisen/Enterprise)1 / 3
Freyja Granroth's piece, entitled "Saudade," earned a third place prize. Granroth, 17, is from Sebeka.2 / 3
Anna Besonen, 16, from Menahga High School captured second place for her laser-engraved deck of cards. 3 / 3

Krysten Sauser, a 16-year-old Nevis student, took top honors at the 2017 Youth Art Exhibit.

Her vivid watercolor painting earned the grand prize: a $3,400 scholarship to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).

An opening reception and awards ceremony was held June 10.

The Nemeth Art Center, in partnership with MCAD, is hosting the Youth Art Exhibit in Park Rapids.

Seventeen high school students submitted their work. They hail from Barnesville, Grand Forks, Lake Park, Menahga, Nevis, Park Rapids and Sebeka.

MCAD awarded Sauser tuition, full room and board, supplies and three college credits for its summer college session.

Michael Dagen, executive director of Nemeth Art Center, said he was "ecstatic" to collaborate with MCAD.

"If you haven't been here before, we're kind of a hidden gem here," he told Saturday's audience. "The art center has been here 40 years now."

Three Nemeth board members, all artists, served as judges for the youth exhibit, along with curators from the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids and Ecce Gallery in Fargo.

Jessica Scott, a 2006 graduate of MCAD, is an admissions counselor at MCAD. Scott presented the scholarship to Sauser, praising her for her innovative use of paint and color.

"Yours really stood out to me because of the inventiveness of it and because it was combining so many different things together," Scott said. "And you used a lot of color."

Prizes were awarded to the top three artists as well.

Ashlee Watenmoe, 18, of Grand Forks won first place and $100 for her painting.

Anna Besonen, 16, captured second place and $75 for her laser-engraved deck of cards.

"I was sketching in my sketchbook just for funnzies," she said. Those elements — an eye, a heart — became featured designs for each suit. She embellished the art in Illustrator prior to laser engraving. The cards are made of balsa wood.

Besonen attends Menahga High School, and intends to use the playing cards with her family.

Third place and $50 went to Freyja Granroth of Sebeka. Granroth, 17, entitled her work "Saudade."

The Youth Art Exhibit runs through July 1.

The Nemeth Art Center is open Thursdays through Saturdays, May through September. It's located at 301 Court Ave., Park Rapids.