The walls of Augsburg Park Library in Richfield have recently become more vibrant. Lending the added flare was a group of dozens of young artists who entered a total of 64 works into this year’s Richfield Teen Art Show, which had its opening night Monday, Nov. 26.
The library’s patrons take notice of the annual tradition, said Lisa Howes, the youth librarian in charge of the contest.
“We have so many adults that come in here and really like looking at what the kids have brought here,” Howes said.
“Plus, it just makes the place look so much better. It looks so much happier.”
Work encompassing a wide variety of disciplines and media — sketches, paintings, sculptures — lines the brick interior walls after art teachers at local schools encouraged their students to expose their work to the general public.
“I’m amazed at their creativity and guts. It takes a lot of — I don’t want to call it bravery — to put your stuff out there and have it critiqued,” Howes said, before reconsidering her comment. “I guess you could call it bravery.”
One winner, seventh-grader Megan Otten, came from some distance to put her work on display. Megan, entering her first art contest, thought her illustration of a tree decorated with buttons was worthy of the competition, but recognition is not why she does what she does.
She said, simply, that she does it “for fun, because at home I get bored and I think of ideas in my head and I put it down on paper.”
For many of the entrants, art is a natural inclination. Another winner, Ruth Peterson, who lives in Richfield but attends school at Eagle Ridge Academy in Eden Prairie as a twelfth-grader, said that growing up, “I drew anything I saw, I guess.”
Her brother Eric, a ninth-grader at Richfield High School, was also honored — for his illustration of the family dog, Roxy. The subject seemed like it would resonate because “we thought anybody who was within a mile of our house would recognize the dog,” Ruth said.
The art will be on display until January, when the works will be moved to the Richfield Community Center and Richfield Municipal Center.
Paintings and sculptures were judged by the Richfield Arts Commission on design, creativity, effort and craftsmanship.
Eric Peterson won the contest’s grand prize for his sketch of his dog. Other prizes were divided by middle school and high school age groups. Ruth Peterson took first place among high-schoolers for her self-portrait done in the style of pointillism, which uses dots to create an image. Otten, a seventh-grader from Rogers, won among middle-schoolers for her the tree painting. Spencer Bainbridge took first place in the pottery category for a piece of work called “Green Dream.”
Abby Howes took second place among middle-schoolers for her illustration of a goldfinch, while a middle school girl who goes by “Purple F” took third place for her cartoon-like painting of a girl licking a lollipop, done in the popular Japanese manga style.
Lisa Mikos was judged second among high-schoolers for her work, “Black and White Flowers.” Third place in that group went to Cesar Sose for “La Pachuco.”
Others recognized for their sculpture work were Emily Nelson for her bowl featuring a zig-zag design and William Voight for his sculpture of a blond boy’s face.
Honorable Mentions among middle-schoolers were Mumtos Mohamed for her painting of a forest, Diana Herrera-Ortega for her face drawn in the Japanese Manga style, and William Voight for his painting of a tree-and-mountain landscape.
High Schoolers receiving honorable mention were Anne Prinns for her work called “Heads,” Madeleine Karl for creation, “Ballerina,” and Jenna Freund for her green bowl.