HOUSTON – May 3, 2017 – Six Spring ISD students – hailing from Westfield High School, Spring High School, Spring Early College Academy and Dekaney High School – headed to San Antonio over the weekend to participate, at the state level, in the 2017 Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), sponsored by the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA).
“We’re really proud of these students and their artistic achievements,” said Joe Clark, Spring ISD director of performing and visual arts. “This is a competitive statewide event, and it’s not every year that we have students whose work is selected to advance to the state level. Our Spring ISD student artists are incredible, and their participation at every level of VASE is something to celebrate, but to have six students from four different campuses advancing to the state competition this year is really impressive.”
Facilitated by each student’s home campus and art teacher, the State VASE 2017 participants from Spring ISD, along with their respective piece titles, are:
Westfield High School (Samara Gilliam, art teacher)
- Fernanda Herrera (Grade 11); art work title: “Siri”
State VASE Medal, Division 3
- Chandler Quinn (Grade 12); art work title: “Guardian of the Mountain”
State VASE Medal, Division 3
Spring High School (Adrian Macris, art teacher)
- Mackenzie Berryman (Grade 9); art work title: “Aldebaran”
State VASE Medal, 3D Category
Spring Early College Academy (Val Hassel, art teacher)
- Victoria Crowder (Grade 9); art work title: “Virentia”
State VASE Medal and Gold Seal, Division 1
- Toria Rogers (Grade 11); art work title: “Inner Love”
State VASE Medal, Division 1
Dekaney High School (Martin Barrera, art teacher)
- Velia Mier-Luna (Grade 10); art work title: “A Collection of Thoughts”
State VASE Medal, Division 2
All six students received State VASE medals in their respective divisions, while Victoria Crowder, of Spring Early College Academy, was also awarded one of only 150 Gold Seal designations given out this year. Her piece, “Virentia,” will join the traveling VASE 2017 exhibition on its journey around Texas during the summer and fall of 2017. Out of more than 32,000 student registrations statewide for VASE 2017, Herrera, Quinn, Berryman, Crowder, Rogers and Mier-Luna were among just over 2,100 students invited to the state-level event.
After advancing through the regional and area rounds, the Spring ISD students joined others from across the state in San Antonio for the culminating event of the annual program, which kicks off formally each year shortly after the winter holidays, with eligible students often spending several months in preparation beforehand. At the State VASE gathering, art students from across Texas have the opportunity to show and have their work evaluated by experienced, certified TAEA jurors, and to attend professional-led workshops, lectures, demonstrations and other related events.
Also during the State VASE competition, representatives from art and design schools, colleges and universities from around the country were in attendance to conduct portfolio reviews with participating students, offering them a valuable networking opportunity and a chance to hone their college application materials.
The annual VASE program, which grew out of a Houston-area pilot launched in the early 1990s, is now open to academically eligible students from across the state. Students are registered by their campus art teachers, who also help verify their eligibility for the competition.
The TAEA, active as an advocate for the arts and arts education in Texas for nearly a century, has overseen the VASE program since its inception. “The mission of the TAEA Visual Arts Scholastic Event,” according to the group’s website, “is to recognize exemplary student achievement in the Visual Arts by providing art students and programs a standard of excellence in which to achieve.”