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Art is Alive and Well in Rugby

By Staff | Apr 24, 2015

Jessica Blessum’s oil pastel drawing next to the original photo. Blessum’s work received a Traveling Award.

In early April a group of students from Rugby High School attended the North Dakota Student Art Show at the Taube Museum of Art in Minot, to experience an art exhibition. For the last 20 years, or so, works of art have been submitted by schools around the state of their students’ art work. Nancy F. Walter, Executive Director of the Taube Museum of Art shared that “this is an event that I look forward to every year. To see young upcoming artist share their visions in art form is more than rewarding it is inspiring” Ms. Walter went on to say how proud she was that Taube Museum of Art continues to support young artist and how this event has grown over the years. This year there were a total of 663 entries from 40 schools with 4 schools participating for the first time. The show is judged, with 35 top awards, and 85 traveling awards presented. The museum creates a traveling art show including 15 of the top winners and 85 traveling award winners.

The students were excited to go to the exhibit this year. Not only did they have students from Rugby High School in the show, but also one of the students from Rugby High School had a piece recognized for its excellence by receiving an award. An oil pastel drawing by Jessica Blessum was one of only 41 high school pieces to receive a Traveling Award. Her piece will be part of a traveling exhibit that will be at the state fair and then travel to Cando, Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Williston for display. Jessica Blessum, when asked what art means to her, stated, “Art means expressing my abilities in a unique way and just enjoying the relaxing time working on my art projects.” We also asked Jessica if she thinks being an artist is in her future and she shared, “My future as an artist is to just do art for fun and enjoy it without pressure.”

Being recognized, as Jessica was, is quite an honor for a young artist and we asked her what were her feelings about her artwork being given such a lofty award Jessica shared, “I was in disbelief that my artwork made it into the show! I couldn’t be more honored to have my hard work be displayed.” Lastly we asked for Jessica’s insight of art and its place in society, and she declared, “I believe that art is what keeps our culture and history alive. Art is a way for me to disconnect from stressful things around me and dig into my creative side and relax.”

Other students from Rugby High School who have work displayed at the Taube Museum of Art in Minot are: Camille Klein, Alyssa Mattern, Kaitlin Bachmeier, Bailey Nelson, Chris Mattern, Meranda Schmaltz, Elizabeth Blessum, Madison Fossum, Jena Garhofer, and Ashlynn Munyer. Stephanie Skeen, the art teacher from Rugby High School should also be recognized for her hard work and dedication to keeping art relevant in the lives of her students. If time permits, a trip to Minot to go to the Taube Museum and check out the ND Student Art Show will be well worth it. The show will be on display until May 1st.

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