June 2020 Arts Newsletter

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The Arts News & Notes | June 2020

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My colleague, Ben King in communications captured it well:

Sixteen students performing an acapella number via ZOOM. A student performing a dance routine on her couch. Students sharing their inspiration in video clips from bedrooms and studios across the state. All this and more from the 47th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show, held virtually this year for the first time.

With a virtual art show there were many “firsts” including having jurors from the central and eastern part of the state, performing arts segments, and inviting the public to get creative with ekphrastic poetry – poetry inspired by art. 

If you’d like to be inspired by this showcase of arts education in Washington, you can see the entire program here. You can see all of the 113 entries in this year’s art show here.

We appreciate the many, many people and organizations who came together to make the virtual art show possible. In particular, we want to thank the coordinators of the regional art shows at the Educational Service Districts across the state and the Washington Art Education Association (WAEA), who has been a longtime partner with the art show in recognizing excellence in the visual arts.

Thank you for all that you do in service of the arts in education,

Janet Hayakawa, Program Supervisor
The Arts - Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Office: 360-725-4966             
Cell/Text: 360-764-6157

Art by: Z. Stinebaugh " Eyes of Art" (Participant in 2020 High School Art Show) 


47th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show Award Recipients

“The annual Art Show is one of my favorites of the events we host at OSPI,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to celebrate the talented student artists who have been brave enough to share their artwork with us.”

Lightbulb Sunset

Lauren Bridget King 

“Lightbulb Sunset” | Superintendent’s Award
J M Weatherwax High School
Teacher: Tracy Ecklund
Aberdeen School District
ESD 113

Cherry Blossom Tea Pot

Rubi Capote

“Cherry Blossom Tea Pot” | Governor’s Award
Tonasket High School
Teacher: Tyler Sant
Tonasket School District
ESD 171

Boy's Don't Cry

Rocio Arias Garcia

“Boys Don’t Cry” | OSPI Staff Award
Davis High School
Teacher: Carole Huls
Yakima School District
ESD 105


Alyssa Ann Maggi

“Catacombs” | Jurors’ Choice Award
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
Teacher: Crystal Zeller
Vancouver School District
ESD 112

Wave of Turmoil

Katie Leigh Place

“Wave of Turmoil” | Jurors’ Choice Award
Friday Harbor High School
Teacher: Andrew Anderson
San Juan Island School District
ESD 189


Peyton S Wood

“Pothos” | Jurors’ Choice Award
Oak Harbor High School
Teacher: Kit Christopherson
Oak Harbor School District
ESD 189


Olivia Alejandra Vazquez

“Tension” | Jurors’ Choice Award
Olympia High School
Teacher: Joshua Everson
Olympia School District
ESD 113

Brian's Apples

Hannah Anne Mildred V Sasse

“Wallace Island” | AWSP Award
Olympia High School
Teacher: Joshua Everson
Olympia School District
ESD 113

Beast, Machine & Soul

Andrew Jonathan Cobler

“Beast, Machine, and Soul” | ArtsEd Washington Award
Tumwater High School
Teacher: Jill Giudice
Tumwater School District
ESD 113


Shelby Donna Staley

“Connection” | InspireWA Award
North Mason Senior High School
Teacher: Gavin Forseth
North Mason School District
ESD 114

Pollen Patters

Peyton Knauft 

“Pollen Patterns” | PESB Award
Lincoln High School
Teacher: Jane Eacker
Walla Walla Public Schools
ESD 123

Washington Path

Greta Laesch

“Washington Pass” | SBE Award
Liberty Bell Junior/Senior High School
Teacher: Erik Brooks
Methow Valley School District
ESD 171

Life on the Rocks

Ryan F Collins

“Life on the Rocks” | WAEA Award
Hanford High School
Teacher: Kelley Muntean
Richland School District
ESD 123

Gradient Mountainscape

Jarom A Pratt

“Gradient Mountainscape” | WASA Award
Richland High School
Teacher: Robert McMinn
Richland School District
ESD 123

We Need to Do Better

Niko Shawn Renee Looper

“We Need to Do Better” | WEA Award
Central Valley High School
Teacher: Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton
Central Valley School District
ESD 101

Fiery Woman

Hannah R Bomgardner

“Fiery Woman” | WSSDA Award
Cedarcrest High School
Teacher: Andrea Descheemaeker
Riverview School District
ESD 121

Every Drop Counts

Justin Davis Berger

“Every Drop Counts” | Honorable Mention Award
Eisenhower High School
Teacher: Lance Johnson
Yakima School District
ESD 105

Fallen Tree

Courtney C Serres

“Fallen Tree” | Honorable Mention Award
Bellevue High School
Teacher: Debby Nixon
Bellevue School District
ESD 121


Maya Jean Soliz Chermack

“Optimist” | Honorable Mention Award
Olympia High School
Teacher: Joshua Everson
Olympia School District
ESD 113


Annalee Smith

“Animated Video” | Honorable Mention Award
Mount Spokane High School
Teacher: Angelika Wilson-Wipp
Mead School District
ESD 101


International Thespian Excellence Awards

Earlier in the academic school year over a thousand student Thespians from all over the State of Washington competed in the International Thespian Excellence Awards.

The International Thespian Excellence Awards, or Thespys for short, recognize the highest level of achievement in school theatre performance (acting, duo scenes, group scenes, solo musical, duet musical and group musical) and technical theatre (costume construction, costume design, short, animated, documentary film, lighting design, makeup design, scenic design, sound design, theatre marketing, and stage management). This educational program gives Thespians the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on prepared theatrical material and technical designs.

This year 225 students received Superior ratings, with 707 students receiving Excellent ratings.  In addition, 16 high schools in the state received Honor Troupe recognition.  The individual results can be viewed on the Washington State Thespians website http://www.washingtonstatethespians.com

2019‒20 Reporting Requirements: The Arts, Educational Technology, Health & Physical Education, & Social Studies - SUSPENDED

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is suspending the verification reports required for the Arts, Health and Physical Education, Social Studies (RCW 28A.230.095), and for Educational Technology (RCW 28A.655.075) for the 2019-20 school year.


Statewide Convenings

Your voice is important to the development of arts education in WA.  If you are interested in meeting with peers from across the state, The Arts office is convening groups over Zoom to address current and emerging issues with arts education. If you’d like to participate, please contact:  janet.hayakawa@k12.wa.us

Statewide Advisory – This group will develop guidance to districts for the re-opening of schools specific to the arts. 

District Arts Administrators – This group is for those who have district level responsibilities for oversight of arts standards and assessment, professional development for the arts, and/or implementation of in-school arts education.  Currently, this group meets weekly for an hour.

Arts Educators – This group welcomes in-school arts educators who work directly with students.  The group spends some time in break out groups: dance, media, music, theatre and visual arts. Currently, this group meets monthly for an hour.



Ekphrastic is poetry inspired by art! To see what we mean, check out some of the winning poems in this year’s Ekphrastic below and beside each one, view the art piece that inspired it. Now you try! Check out all of the entries in this year’s art show here and get creative! For lesson plans and more information, click here.


I'm a little bit scared of these shadows in my soul
A little bit frightened by the pain I carry around with me
A little bit horrified of the nightmares I've trapped inside
A little bit terrified of the voices in my head
A little bit petrified by the scars that mar my soul
Just a little bit… piece by piece
Until I am nothing but a thousand little bits
Scattered in the wind
Crashing to the floor
A thousand little bits

Poetry by Victoria Hathaway inspired by artwork, "Desolate” by Liahna Shahbazi


As I sit and mourn the loss of those who I love
Whose lifeless bodies once gave me some of my most cherished memories
I wonder how I got here and will I ever get out
Of this pit of depression
Will I be able to laugh again
Or feel anything remotely happy without them near me
Will I be able to love someone else as much as I loved them
So I sit with these questions racing through my brain
And I say my final goodbyes

Poetry by Sarah Emery inspired by artwork, "Loss” by Daba Eugene Phillips

Autumn Season

I wanna be fast
If I'm not first I'm last
Six hundred horses stomp the ground
Soaring in Circles till the sun goes down
Twenty four hours or charging through the night
Just to be stomped out in early light
Being fast doesn't make you fast
Just make sure I'm not last

Poetry by Liam Porter inspired by artwork, “Autumn Season” by Joshua Allen Farrar

O. Benson

2020 Washington State High School Photography Competition - Deadline June 30th 

Who may enter: Students in grades 9-12 currently enrolled in a public, private or alternative high school in Washington State. Students may enter up to ten images. The cost is $3 per entry.

If you plan to ship your entries it is recommended you do so no later than Friday, June 26th so they arrive in time for the deadline.Visit Kenmore Camera here for full details.

Questions? Contact Kelly Atkinson at kellyatkinsonphotography@gmail.com

Artwork by O. Benson-Gregory, Lakeside H.S. Photography Competition 2019 1st place - Architecture


Nominations Open for Photography Education Awards - Deadline July 1

The Society for Photographic Education, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting an understanding of photography in all its forms and related media, is now accepting nominations for its 2020 Honored Educator Award. Eligible nominees must be full-career educators who have made a significant contribution to the field of photographic education. The award will be presented at the SPE Annual Conference held next year in Denver, Colorado. 

Image: Society for Photographic Education, Off the Web, On the Wall 3

Grants for Arts Projects – Application Deadlines July 9, 2020

The National Endowment for the Arts grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required. For more information, click here