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High school artists recognized

Awards announced for “Eastern Oregon Regional High School Art Exhibition”

Contact: Cory Peeke, Director of the Nightingale Gallery, 541-962-3584

LA GRANDE, Ore. February 27, 2017 – The “Eastern Oregon Regional High School Art Exhibition” featuring over 300 works by students from 15 regional high schools opened with a reception and awards presentation in Nightingale Gallery at Eastern Oregon University February 24. 

Regina Braker, interim dean of EOU’s College of Arts and Sciences, welcomed gallery visitors with opening remarks, and Cory Peeke, director of Nightingale Gallery, presented awards selected by the art program for exemplary work by students in grades nine through 12. 

“On behalf of EOU and the Nightingale Gallery, congratulations to the award winners and all the student participants in the 2017 exhibition,” Peeke said. “Special credit is also due to the teachers who make it all possible, and who on a daily basis, go out of their way to help students create works of such high caliber.”

All Best of Show winners received an award certificate, $50 Barnes & Noble gift card, sketchbook, EOU T-shirt and lanyard. Honorable Mention recipients received a certificate of award.

Best of Show 12th Grade:

Jenna Monson (Union High School) for her painting “Eden’s Waterfalls” 

Best of Show 11th Grade:    

Elizabeth Cashell (La Grande High School) for her paintings “Glass Ceiling” and “Broken Glass”

Best of Show 10th Grade:    

Justin Smith (North Powder High School) for his drawing “David”

Best of Show 9th Grade:

Zac Johnston (Union High School) for his painting “Blur Bunny”

Honorable Mentions:


Luke Barnes, 10th grade, for his ceramic piece “Bamboo and Blood”
Erin Blincoe, 12th grade, for her ceramic sculpture “See No Evil”
Maggie Crabill, 12th grade, for her painting “Skull Buddies”
Kerrie Kast, 9th grade for her mixed media piece “Insanity”
Douglas Nichols, 12th grade, for his ceramic piece “Alloy Amalgamation”


Ethan Hobson, 11th grade, for his sculpture “Metal Willow”

John Day

Anastasiya Hozhenko, 10th grade, for her drawing “The Glass Red Pepper”


Kai Oliver, 12th grade, for his ceramic piece “Hardship”

La Grande 

Owen Kreutz, 10th grade, for his drawing “Lord of the Rings, Aragon”

North Powder

Casey Neske, 12th grade, for her “Batik Mask”
Rylee Richman, 10th grade, for her drawing “W.S.”
Peyton Secl, 10th grade, for her painting “Our Kiss”


Johnny Malcom, 12th grade, for his drawing “Chance”


Kylie Bruce, 9th grade, for her painting “In the Door”
Emilee Freeman, 9th grade, for her painting “The Stache with Class”
Rosalyn Morton, 10th grade, for her untitled print
Matthew Sheehy, 10th grade, for his untitled painting
Mrs. Gustavson’s entire class who made the giant cardboard masks

Giving a special award for the ninth year in a row, the La Grande Arts Commission’s “La Grande High School Creative Artist of 2017” was presented to Emily Andrews. Jeremy Clark, arts commissioner and local artist, selected Andrews’ painting “Inspired by Jove Wang’s ‘Dreaming Santa Barbara Harbor.” Clark and Evna Stacey, commission chairperson, presented her with the award that includes a certificate and check for $100

Joining the La Grande Arts Commission in presenting additional special awards were three regional art centers. 

Union County’s Art Center East presented a $50 “Union County’s Best Young Artist” award to Zac Johnston of Union High School for his works “Bunny Mask” and “Blur Bunny.” The works were selected by writer, cultural advocate and center resource coordinator Kelly McGilvrey and the award presented by Rebecca Hartman, center board member and EOU history professor. 

Baker County’s Crossroads Art Center presented two $50 awards. Their “Baker High School Aspiring Young Artist” award went to Alexa Nickens for her ceramic work “Fierce Deity” and Crossroads’ “Baker County Aspiring Young Artist” award went to Jin Sue Kim of Burnt River High School for his graphite drawing “Andrew Garfield.” Winning works were selected and awards presented by Tom Dimond, artist and EOU professor emeritus.

Pendleton Center for the Arts in conjunction with Pendleton Art & Frame, Art & Antiques on Main and the Blue Mountain Community College Foundation, presented a $200 “Best of the Blues” award to Johnny Malcom of Pendleton High School for his drawing “Chance.” Bonnie Day, artist and center coordinator of education and outreach, selected the winning work and Cory Peeke presented the award. 

Participating teachers:

Baker City High School – Kristen Anderson
Burns High School – Ben Holtby
Burnt River High School – Laurie Hueckman
Cove High School – Eric Gustavson
Crane Union High School – Connie Robbins
Echo High School – Rick Thew
Enterprise High School – Dianne Pfel
Grant Union High School – J.J. Collier
Joseph Charter School – Jennifer Hawkins-Connolly
La Grande High School – Mike Schireman
North Powder High School – Jessie Street
Pendleton High School – Olivia Rush
Prairie City High School – Amelia Harmon
Union County Youth Creative Arts – Theo Miller
Union High School – Jaime Gustavson
Vale High School – Kacie Shaffer

The “Eastern Oregon Regional High School Exhibition” runs through March 21 in Nightingale Gallery in Loso Hall at EOU. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Follow the gallery’s Instagram and Facebook feeds to stay up-to-date on this and other upcoming exhibitions.