Artists compete in IHSAE

Madison McGuire, Staff Writer

Annually, the IHSAE (Illinois High School Arts Exhibition) gives young artists in Illinois a chance to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in art and design. ETHS students are encouraged to apply and participate in the exhibition every year. The IHSAE is a non-for-profit organization whose mission is “the growth and advancement of visual arts education for all people.” They promote that mission statement through their exposure and endorsement of young artists in Illinois. 

The IHSAE gives artists a platform to build their creative capital and share their work with people outside of their schools. They do this through exhibitions where students can submit pieces of artwork.  ETHS is among those participating Chicagoland highschools in the IHSAE competitions. Submitted pieces can pertain to any of eight categories: drawing, painting, mixed media, design, photography, pottery, sculpture and time arts. With hundreds of other students participating, students must show exemplary work to be noticed and awarded.

“As a faculty we decide what actually gets submitted. The general exhibition is pretty elite,” says Marla Seibold, art teacher and IHSAE head coordinator at ETHS. 

Students may submit as many pieces as they wish to be reviewed by a department head from their respective school and submitted to the IHSAE. Upon submission, their work is reviewed along with hundreds of other students from nearly 150 participating high schools, according to IHSAE. Out of these applicants, a select few are chosen to be featured in an art show displaying their creations to others in the art community and professionals in the field. There is a general exhibition and a senior showcase.

“When [the judges] are judging the work in the general and senior exhibitions for additional awards and recognition, they are looking for technical proficiency, artistic vision, experimentation and risk, as well as both growth and process,” says Johnathan Reiman, IHSAE representative. 

Along with promoting connections to the professional world, they also offer students connections to scholarships and prestigious summer art programs and universities. In 2018, partnered universities and programs awarded 43 million dollars in tuition scholarships to 312 seniors from all over Illinois according to IHSAE. Among these students included many individuals that previously did not think of college as an option financially and are now able to attend. 

“The amount of money that schools and art schools are offering is incredible,” says Seibold. They produced nearly 124 million dollars in scholarship offers for tuition and early enrollment programs for students across Illinois. 

From ETHS, previous winners include Asher White, Jessica Cardinas, Joe Liebforth and Cecilia Goodman. 

“Even before the show, colleges can see your submissions. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars in it. I think of it as making it to state in sports but for artists,” noted William Simos, art teacher at ETHS and assistant IHSAE coordinator.