Menahga, Trek North top youth art show
Students from five schools submitted works to the Nemeth Art Center's annual youth art show, with the top six awards going to four students from Menahga and two from Bemidji.
Four of the top six prizes in the Nemeth Art Center’s (NAC) annual youth art show went to students from Menahga High School.
The youth art show opened Saturday, May 20 in the unnamed gallery at the front of the second floor of the historic Hubbard County Courthouse, adjacent to exhibits of professional artists’ work in the nearby Court and Chambers galleries.
“There’s a lot of artistic energy among our youth,” said Jamie Jokela, a museum volunteer who coordinated this year’s youth art contest. “It’s so exciting to be a part of getting it out in the public eye.”
According to Nemeth board chair and executive director David Welle, the students’ submissions will be on display in the NAC gallery through July 4.
“We had 45 submissions from five different schools,” he said. “A jury of five artists plus a reviewer from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) ranked all the submissions and selected six for top honors.”
The Best in Show award went to “The 7th Generation,” a work of photography by junior Marla Mesarina from Trek North High School in Bemidji.
Receiving Honorable Mention were Menahga freshman Taliea Honga’s gouache painting “Charles St. New York” and Menahga sophomore Hailie Maki’s acrylic painting “British Fox.”
Special Merit awards went to Maddison Dowd, a junior from Menahga, for her charcoal drawing “Divided Thoughts,” and to Menahga freshman Alan Skare for his digital design, “Shattered Reality.”
Trek North senior Neal Duerst also received a Special Merit award for his painting “birds got em.”
These six students will receive cash prizes ranging from $50 to $400 each, courtesy of funds provided by the estate of Eleanor and Harold Olson, Welle noted. The Best in Show winner will also receive a scholarship for a summer program at MCAD.
“We’re really impressed with the caliber of the artwork that the students have submitted,” said Welle. “We like to honor the creativity and technical skill that they all utilize for this. We think it's really important, too, to be able to exhibit the students alongside the professionals in the same gallery space. I think it works out well for both.”
Among those attending the exhibit’s opening were Nevis School art teacher Chris Boedigheimer, some of his students and their families.
“It’s exciting,” said Boedigheimer. “It’s a great opportunity for kids to exhibit their work. They worked really hard. I’m just happy for them. It looks really good.”
According to Menahga School art teacher Tiffany Besonen, Menahga students submitted 28 of the 45 artworks in the show. There were also submissions from Nevis, Park Rapids and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
“The great thing is that this is a long tradition for the art center here,” said Besonen. “I’m so glad that they’re continuing it close to home, close to Menahga, so kids can come see it through June. It’s a great opportunity to display in a gallery and to recognize excellence in art.”