Of the 37 awards granted Sunday evening at the Kentucky Art Education Association's 35th Annual Purchase/Pennyrile Regional High School Art Exhibition, 15 went to McCracken County High School students, including Overall Best In Show and 3D Best In Show.

The annual exhibition's purpose is to recognize, encourage and reward art students and teachers at the high school level, and to bring about deeper understanding and cooperation among secondary and college art faculty and programs.

Murray State art and design faculty juried the show, selecting student artwork that expressed imaginative content, personal interpretation, and individuality, as well as technical competence, skill and overall craftsmanship. Over 400 students from across the region submitted artwork, and only 113 made the cut, including 25 from MCHS.

"It's truly an honor for our students, especially because the instructors in Murray are the ones that jury the show," said Shand Stamper, MCHS art teacher. Of the 15 MCHS students who placed at the exhibition, 13 were students of Stamper's.

"It's a chance for the college faculty to give us feedback, and it's a really good indication for the kids to know what work they're excited about at the college level," she said.

Many of the pieces accepted into the show every year are class projects, but what really excites Stamper and her fellow MCHS art teachers is when students take in-class work a step further. Sophomore Bailey Joyce's first place sculpture piece and senior Irey Cass's 3D Best in Show piece are great examples, she said.

"For me, that exemplifies the type of work that we want to see, when a student takes an idea from class, and turns it into their own thing that's far beyond and much better than a class project," Stamper said.

MCHS' 2019 KyAEA Regional Awards included (Asterisk denotes awardee will advance to the KyAEA All-State High School Art Exhibition):

Overall Best in Show -- Bailey Joyce, Clarity and Chaos*

3D Best in Show -- Irey Cass, Garden Spoon*

Painting -- (3rd) Bailey Joyce, Little Blue Beach House

Graphic Design -- (1st) Chaobo Cai, Whale*, (2nd) Cymber Dycus, Head Over Wheels

Fashion Design -- (1st) Samira Koehler, Oma's*

Sculpture -- (1st) Bailey Joyce, Head Lamp*

Ceramics -- (3rd) Samantha Harlan, Up to the Heavens

Jewelry & Metalsmithing -- (1st) Hannah Dawson, Wind Woven Woman*, (2nd) Isabel Salchli, As Time Turns By*, (3rd) Hannah Dawson, Goddess Ring

Photography -- (1st) Samira Koehler, Happy Birthday*, (3rd) Caitlin Herndon, Flowers

Video -- (1st) Luke Resser, Hank*

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