Four Creek students receive gold seal at state VASE


Jenan Taha, Features & Arts Editor

After earning a score of four at the regional Visual Art Scholastic Event, nine Creek art students advanced to the State VASE competition in Dallas on April 25, where all nine were awarded state medals for their pieces. Three 3-D art students—sculptor Diego Allison, jeweler Sarah Wilson and sculptor Sabrina Shepherd—received gold seals for their work, which will be displayed in Dallas.

State VASE was held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and sponsored by the Hilton Anatole Hotel, where competitors gathered and stayed overnight.

The day before the competition, the students toured the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center, and afterward visited the Dallas Galleria.

“I really liked the sculpture garden and seeing the old ancient gold jewelry,” Sarah Wilson, junior, said.

Before the event began, all state pieces were scored on a scale of one to four, with medals awarded to those that earned a top score of four. The pieces were judged again to decide which would achieve a gold seal. On competition day, over 1600 art students arrived at the convention center to reunite with their artworks and learn what score they received. The pieces were displayed throughout the convention center ballroom, and all competitors were allowed to view the nearly 2000 student works from across Texas.

“I saw an interactive book—they cut out parts of pages and built it out with different images,” Wilson said. “I also saw a dress made entirely out of hair.”

Gold seal winners were displayed in one section of the ballroom, and hundreds of hopeful students searched for their pieces in the display as soon as the center opened. Sarah Wilson shared her experience when she realized she had won a gold seal.

“At first I gasped and then I started crying when I saw my piece,” Wilson said. “I was super shocked. Then I hugged Mrs. Fox.”

The inspiration for her jewelry piece came from the organic geodes and beads in the necklace, and her own personal style preferences.

“I started of with the natural colors and shapes of the geodes and built off of that,” Wilson said. “Then I went with an asymmetrical layout, because I stylistically like that. It represents me.”

Sarah had previously made it to State VASE as a freshman, but was unable to attend because of a schedule conflict. This was her first year at State VASE.

“I thought it was really cool being around other artistic people like me,” Wilson said.

The state medal and gold seal winners were announced during an end-of-day ceremony.  Only 170 out of almost 2000 students from all UIL regions in Texas were awarded gold seals. Gold seal winners had their medals draped over them by the two young daughters of Joey Doyle, the former head director of VASE who passed last July.

The ceremony also included winners of the sketchbook, 2D and 3D scholarships, as well as a musical performance by Doyle’s daughters to commemorate their father.

The event also gave students a chance to take two art workshops of their choice. Guest artists taught various workshops to groups of students, including leather mask making, Majolica glaze painting, fashion design and several more.

“I did the TASK workshop, where you got to show your creativity by picking a task card and creating the task in any way using the materials given,” Sami Pringle, senior, said. “It was really about expressing yourself.”