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WPFA holds high school created art competition

WEST POINT — For their second showing of the autumnal season, West Point Fine Arts held a Dia de Los Muertos themed student art competition on Thursday evening.

The upstairs bar of Joe’s Tex Mex was converted into an exhibition space for the more than 90 student-created pieces ranging from paintings to sculptures. As exhibit-goers took in the work, they would notice a theme of sugar skulls, Latino music and southwestern flare.

“Originality is at the top of the list so I told them that, no matter what work you do, you have to make it original,” said Valley High School art teacher Teresa Davidson of her students. “Most of them were familiar with [the concept] and if they weren’t they could look it up on their phone and realize ‘oh that’s like that movie Coco.”

Students showing art at the competition represented several different schools from Harris, Troup and Chambers. First, second, third and honorable mention prizes were given out by grade level, having been decided by local artist and competition judge Becky Guinn.

“The opportunity to show this talent locally, especially to many who have never been to a student competition, was so much fun,” said WPFA founder Thea McElvey. “It was another avenue for West Point Fine Arts to link the community to the art world. WPFA isn’t just about selling local art but enriching the community through the arts.”

Allowing for more art shows, especially for students, seemed to be the highlight for most in attendance.

“WPFA is really bringing more to the table,” Davidson said. “There weren’t that many opportunities for the students to show their work so this is wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I think they did a wonderful job setting it up and I like to see that other high schools are participating.”

The best in show award went to Rylee Green, a 12th grader from Harris County High School, for her papier-mâché praying mantis decorated with sugar skulls and a tissue paper crown.

“I was trying to think of something different that no one else was going to do so that it would stand out more,” Green said. I’m on the competition team with Harris County so I enter most of the competitions around the area.”

As for the future of WPFA, McElvey said that they are looking into the next year with eager excitement.