DUNLAP — Visitors to the Warner Gallery at the South Bend Museum of Art will have the opportunity in February to view works of students at Concord Junior High School.

For the 24th straight year, Concord Junior High has had the most student work accepted by the Scholastic Art Award Committee judges in the middle school/ junior high division, according to school officials.

Art teacher Neil Boston said that he and fellow art teacher Mary Amador submitted 65-70 entries and 35 works received an award from 26 individual students.

“It’s difficult to get in this show,” Boston said. “If you enter 100 pieces, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get anything in. It’s juried separately by professional artists and educators from the Northwest Indiana Region.”

Sometimes, “it involves art professors from the Indiana University of South Bend and Notre Dame and professional artists from the South Bend region – it changes from year to year,” he added.

The students along with many others from across Michiana will be honored at an awards ceremony Feb. 3 at the South Bend Museum of Art, 120 S. St. Joseph St., South Bend.

The entries will be exhibited from Feb. 1 to March 9.

The pieces feature everything from drawing and illustration to sculpture and digital work.

Ashlyn Fish, an eighth-grader at Concord Junior High School, will have two works on display – a self-portrait piece called “unraveling beauty” for which she earned a gold key and a sculpture piece entitled, “Sweet Love,” which received an honorable mention.

This is the 13-year-old’s second year being accepted in the show.

Last year, she earned a gold key and honorable mention as well.

As a gold key recipient, she will now have a shot at being considered for national recognition in New York.

“I just enjoy being able to show my creativity through art,” she said of her inspiration.

Another eighth-grader, Evan Rosenberry, was accepted in the show for his first year.

Rosenberry did two self-portraits for which he earned a silver key for one and an honorable mention for the other.

The project “taught me a lot about precision and accuracy and how to put more craftsmanship into my different pieces as well as different techniques and ways to do things and to look at things from different angles,” he said.

Amador and Boston both said they believe the school’s record number of awards in the contest is due to having consistent high expectations in their students.

“I think high expectations and believing that our kids are capable of reaching that level and the consistency of that belief (contributed to the success),” said Amador.

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