Visual Arts students from Oak Park and River Forest High School received widespread accolades at the Illinois High School Art Exhibition’s (IHSAE) General Exhibition on Feb. 25 at the Zhou B. Art Gallery in Chicago.

“The General Exhibition is a ‘Best of the Best’ competition, developed by teachers, to recognize high school students’ artistic excellence,” according to the IHSAE website. “High schools digitally submit up to 25 artworks in 8 categories. … The IHSAE receives well over 2,500 submissions for consideration for the General Exhibition. All entries are curated by the IHSAE Board of Directors and guest jurors, who select works by over 500 student artists for exhibition.”

More than 130 high schools participated this year. OPRF was the only school to win in each of the five categories it entered. But that wasn’t the only area where OPRF art students had an impressive showing.

“Adjacent to this show was the IHSAE Senior Exhibition at the Bridgeport Art Center where eight of our seniors entered their art portfolios online and were offered numerous scholarships from art schools around the country,” said Melinda Novotny, visual art department chair. “The total senior scholarship amount for Oak Park and River Forest High School (art students) is over $1,012,000.

Teen sculptor Jane Liepold also received a silver award for her artwork among the hundreds on display at the IHSAE Senior Exhibition. The other OPRF seniors who displayed art at the Senior Exhibition and were awarded scholarships are Emma Vejcik, Gillian Bockus, Grace Ciacciarelli, Hasani Cannon, Iris Nosek, Katharine Backes and Meaghan Hackett.

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