Winning 3D art submission

Work (above) by Mia Brooks, a senior at Washington Community High School, won top honors in 3D art in the Creative Futures online high school art contest sponsored by the SIU Carbondale School of Art and Design. Other winners were Rebecca Yee, a senior at Belleville Township East High School in 2D art and Destiny Foronda, a senior at Larkin High School in design/digital art. (Images provided)

March 01, 2024

Three Illinois high school students win inaugural SIU Creative Futures art contest

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The talents of Illinois high school juniors and seniors are on display with the Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Art and Design statewide online art competition.

Winners in the first Creative Futures were announced Feb. 23. Five entries received top honors along with 11 honorable mentions selected by SIU faculty in areas from each of the three categories — 2D art (painting, drawing, printmaking and photography), 3D art (ceramics, glass, metals and sculpture), and design and digital art (web/graphic design, industrial design, animation and video).

In all, there were 99 entries from students in 27 high schools from throughout Illinois.

“This was a wonderful inaugural online high school art competition,” said Antonio Martinez, associate professor and head of undergraduate studies. “The success of this inaugural competition belongs to the dedicated high school art teachers who encourage and foster creative young minds to express and to represent how they see the world around them.”

The online exhibition will be available for viewing through Feb. 14, 2025.

Martinez said the final selections in each category were difficult to narrow down “because there were technical strengths and aesthetic merits in each piece.”

“When evaluating art, jurors typically focus upon immediate visual impact, originality, and the degree of craftsmanship or control of materials and processes,” he said.

The honored students are:

2D art


First place — Rebecca Yee, senior, Belleville Township East High School; art teacher, Breanne Pelker. “Decomposition.”

Second place — Amy Kramarczyk, senior, Larkin High School, Elgin; art teacher, Christine Watts.

Third place — Evelyn McElya, junior, Murphysboro High School; art teacher, Caitlin Langellier. “The Mycologist's Bones.”

Honorable mention

  • Yahri Edmond, senior, Carbondale Community High School; art teacher, Jennifer Kennedy. “Contrast of Self.: A Chiaroscuro Self Portrait.”
  • Elmedina Kurtovic, junior, James B. Conant High School, Hoffman Estates; art teacher, Jamie Patterson. “Mirrored.”
  • Alyssa Rouse, senior, Eldorado High School; art teacher, Ashley Priddy. “Egress Through the Universe Embroidery Hoop.”
  • Danica Scoma, senior, LaSalle-Peru Township High School; art teacher, Julie Jenkins. “Desensitized.”
  • Lillian Seresbeno, senior, Marion High School; art teacher, Amber Akes. “From Rags to Riches.”
  • Morgan Viggers, senior, Metamora Township High School; art teacher, Steve Danner. “Fields in Late May.”
  • Kaydn Ward, junior, Goreville High School; art teacher, Jennifer Ingram. “Octopus.”

3D art

First place — Mia Brooks, senior, Washington Community High School; art teacher, Jayme Banzhoff. “Umi no ue de no seikatsu.”

Honorable mention

  • Bella Signore, senior, Metamora Township High School; art teacher, Tiffany Wyse-Fisher; “Genesis.”
  • Kimber McMurray, senior, Sesser-Valier High School; art teacher, Anthony Evetts.

Design, digital art


First place — Destiny Foronda, senior, Larkin High School, Elgin; art teacher, Christine Watts.

Honorable mention

  • Paige Severs, junior, Goreville High School, art teacher, Jennifer Ingram. “Fallen Angel.”
  • Elaina Williams, senior, Marion High School; art teacher, Amber Akes. “You! You There! Can you Explain the Inner-Machinations of your Mind?”

Martinez said he hopes the online competition can reach neighboring states in the future and noted that the School of Art and Design is establishing a recruitment fund that will help support initiatives and events such as Creative Futures.