HOUSTON – Dec. 9, 2020 – The Spring ISD Board of Trustees this week honored the winners in the Superintendent’s 2020 Holiday Card Contest. The three highest-placing students all attended the board’s December meeting virtually to be recognized for their work in this year’s contest and each student will also receive a basket of art supplies to support their creativity, along with copies of their card to send to family and friends.
“It’s really exciting, as we get into the holiday season, to be able to share the 2020 Spring ISD Superintendent’s Holiday Card Contest, showcasing the top winners from across the district,” said Executive Chief of District Operations Mark Miranda during the meeting.
This year, for the first time ever, some of the best holiday card submissions from across the district – more than 50 in all – are being featured in a special virtual gallery, designed by the Spring ISD Performing and Visual Arts Department and curated in coordination with campus art teachers.
“We’re super proud of our students and our teachers, and we’re really excited to be able to feature so much of our students’ work in this new virtual gallery,” said Visual Arts Coordinator Amanda Byers after the meeting.
While students from across the district created holiday artwork, this year’s official card contest was open to Spring ISD secondary students. District campuses hosted their own holiday card competitions before each school submitted a pair of semi-finalists for judging in the districtwide event. The top three winners for 2020, listed together with their campus and art teacher, are as follows:
1st Place: Dennis T.
School: Bailey Middle School
Teacher: Keirsten Probst
2nd Place: Sheccid R.
School: Spring High School
Teacher: Adrian Kane
3rd Place: Anh D.
School: Claughton Middle School
Teacher: Bryce Johnson
In announcing the winners and introducing the virtual gallery, Spring ISD Director of Performing and Visual Arts Dr. Joe Clark praised campus art teachers for continuing to instruct and inspire students despite the difficulties the year had posed.
“Teaching virtually is such a challenge as it is,” Clark said, “but teaching visual art virtually is even more of a challenge, so the fact that our amazing art teachers are going and crossing that with that nonstop, can’t-say-no attitude, they have absolutely tackled that challenge, and they’re doing an amazing, amazing job.”
Byers said that, even after the pandemic, the virtual gallery might be here to stay. Initial response in the district has been strong, and Byers was recently invited to present a workshop on creating virtual galleries during the Texas Art Education Association’s annual statewide conference. She said online art shows offered enhanced accessibility – including for family members who may live out of the area – and the chance to give attendees a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the artistic process.
“One of the best parts about it is we get the chance to know the students a little more,” Byers said. “We were able to embed artists’ statements into the gallery, plus some photos and short videos so you can actually see some of the work taking place, or hear kids talking about their artwork. Even when we go back to hosting in-person shows, we hope to keep doing the virtual gallery because of all that it adds.”
The entrance to the Superintendent’s 2020 Holiday Card Contest virtual gallery can be found at www.springisd.org/holidaycards2020. Festive ambiance and holiday music are included, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own hot cocoa and cookies to enjoy during their visit.