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Top Young Artists Display, Sell Their Work

March 18, 2011

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When asked which art piece was his favorite, Mike Magid, the owner of Studio Gallery, couldn't seem to put his finger on just one. The juried art show of teen-aged artists exhibit a wide array of expression.

Top Young Artists of the year is an art show an scholarship competition for McLennan County high school juniors and seniors. Public and private schools in the county each can submit 3 works of art to the competition. The project grew from a collaboration among The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Studio Gallery and local sponsors.

Alexis Weaver is the Director of Community Affairs of the Greater Waco Chamber:

The exhibit of the students' work is on display now at Studio Gallery, and members of the community are encouraged to vote on their favorite piece of art. The artist with the most votes receives the People's Choice Award Scholarship of a $1,000. All told, there's a total of 7 scholarships, ranging from $250 - $2,000, and except for the people's choice award all other awards are made by a panel of three judges. The judges have a wide range of art experience, but come from different perspectives. The panel is comprised of professors, professional artists, and art collectors.

David Smith, Waco Tribune Arts Columnist and Baylor University History Professor, is one of the judges in this year's competition. This is the second time this week he's been to Studio Gallery to look at the works.

There is an entrepreneurial aspect to the competition. Students are encouraged and coached on pricing their artwork, a lesson on the business-side of being an artist. The sales also help sustain the scholarship fund, because 25 percent of the sale is retained to finance scholarships for future students. Students receive professional art show experience, while connecting with the Greater Waco arts community.

Isaac Carrillo, now a senior at University High School, was awarded the scholarship last year, and the famed student who picked up Mayor Virginia Dupuy. During last year's ceremony, when the runner-up was named, it a took a second for Isaac to realize it was his work that was chosen as first place winner.

A humble young man, Isaac doesn't tout his work. His teacher, Heather Hughes, an educator and artist for Waco ISD at University High School, mentioned that Isaac's work, again, was selected to represent University High in the Top Young Artists Program, and that his piece had already sold. Isaac blames his success on his teacher.

See the Top Young artist exhibit on display at Studio Gallery now through March 25. The award ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 28 at the Art Center Waco, and the winning pieces will go on a tour of the city. For KWBU news, I'm Jacqueline Deavenport.

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