Winners from left to right: Amy Copen, Andrew Holden, Sarah Lyn Wilson, Leslie Myrick, & Eric Lee Rudolph

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.

Franklin D. Roosevelt


If February’s High School Art Show at the Harlin Museum was any indication of the capability of today’s youth to take art to the next level, we would say that the future is definitely something worth looking forward to! Students from Southern Missouri area high schools entered the best of their recent work to the museum’s annual competition show, filling the gallery with professional-quality graphite sketches, white & black charcoal and scratch art masterpieces, colorfully diverse acrylics, and inventive three-dimensional pieces of both sculpture and yarn craft.

Students from West Plains High School, Cabool High School, Liberty High School, Thayer High School, and even a few who home-school, participated in the competition show, earning ribbons and monetary prizes for Best of Show, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, and also several honorable mentions. For many of the students, this was their first competitive show and they drew their inspiration from a variety of sources, including nature, sports, television & film media, fantasy, celebrity; and the human form. However, one source seemed to truly be at the heart of their inspiration, encouraging them to hone their artistic skills and supporting their decision to enter the competition — their art teachers. The teachers of these students played an integral part in the experience, with many going out of their way to assist the students by accompanying them to the museum to both enter their art and to receive their awards, by showing them the ropes of proper art presentation by providing frames and aiding them in attaching picture wire for proper gallery hanging, and by celebrating and sharing their successes via social media.

The Harlin Museum’s High School Art Show Best of Show winner is Andrew Holden, a senior at Liberty Senior High School in Mtn. View, Missouri
The Best of Show winner, graphite pencil drawing titled, “Yee Haw”

The Best of Show award went to a Liberty Senior High School senior, Andrew Holden, for his graphite pencil drawing titled, “Yee Haw,” a portrait of a rodeo barrel racer in action atop his horse. The caliber of Andrew’s skill is so fantastic that many thought the drawing was actually a black & white photograph. Other winners included:

1st Place winners:

“Moon Eyes” (Mixed Medium) by Madison Newton of West Plains Senior High School 

“Cosmic Garden” (Mixed Medium) by Leslie Myrick of West Plains Senior High School

“White Iverson” (White Charcoal) by Sarah Lyn Wilson of Liberty High School


2nd Place winners:

“Lost Time” (Scratch Art) by Sarah Lyn Wilson of Liberty High School

“Self-Titled” (Mixed Medium) by Skyla Caldwell of Thayer High School

“The Sixties” (Ink Markers) by Gauge Jacobs of West Plains Senior High School


3rd Place winners:

“A Native Outlook on Modern Life” (Acrylic Paint) by Adriana Tharp of Thayer High School

“Daddy’s Hat” (Graphite Pencil) by Rebecca Brinkerhoff of Heritage Home School

“Ruth Ann” (Acrylic Paint) by Home School student Cassie Jankowski

And Honorable Mention winners include:

“Body Language” (Colored Pencil) by Eric Lee Rudolph of Liberty Senior High School

“Gourd On” (Clay) by /Madison Donnaley of Cabool High School

“On the Streets of Scotland” (Acrylic Paint) by Home-Schooled student Cassie Jankowski

Lightning Strikes” (Acrylic Paint) by Emily Wood of Thayer High School

“Mind” (Colored Pencil) by Aspen Burton of Thayer High School

“Debbie” (Colored Pencil) by Emily Wood of Thayer High School

“Strong Love” (Charcoal) by Caitlyn Basham of Liberty Senior High School

“Fishy Face” (Graphite Pencil) by Amy Copen of Liberty Senior High School (which also won the People’s Choice Award)

Other entries from area students included:

“Arionna” (Graphite Pencil) by Ashley Neagle, “Letter A” (Tempera) by Jackie Mayo, “Self-Portrait” (Graphite Pencil) by Nicole Coats, “Reflections” (Watercolor) by Madison Newton, “Blake Lively” (Mixed Medium) by Hannah Collins, and “Dad” (Mixed Medium) by Kendra Collins, all of West Plains Senior High School. (pictured in listed order below)

“Kraken” (Yarn) by Madison Forseca of Cabool High School (pictured below)

“Three Stooges” (B&W Charcoal) by Amy Copen, “Emotionless” (Graphite Pencil) & “Forgetting to Forget” (Charcoal) both by Abigail Reese, “Stetson Rich” (Pen & Ink) & “Saturdays Are For Girls” (Charcoal) by Timberly Richison, “Jim” (Graphite Pencil) by Andrew Holden, “While We’re Still Here” (Watercolor) by Eric Lee Rudolph, “Like Father, Like Son” (White Charcoal) by Madison Smith, “Shattered” (Graphite Pencil) by Marcy Grendan, all of Liberty Senior High School (pictured in listed order below)

“Simplicity” (Pen & Ink) & “Trip” (Colored Pencil) by Shelby Coursey, “The Wanderer” (Pen & Ink) by Skyla Caldwell, “Majestic Bubbles” (Colored Pencil) & “Hiding Crocodile” (Colored Pencil) both by LaCrysta Adams, “Paris” (Pen & Ink) & “Scarberd” (Pen & Ink) both by Skylar Todd, “ Young & Beautiful (Colored Pencil) by Yana Hanchuruk, & “Queen” (Graphite Pencil) by Aspen Burton, all of Thayer High School (pictured in listed order below)