By: Thaddeus Coop

Laramie High School has entered the annual State Art Competition in Casper with thirty of its students and the school’s art teachers, Justin Deegan and Rebecca Watson.

This is Deegan’s second time going to this statewide event and he plans to go again.

The competition just celebrated 54 years of running and is planning to continue to keep going every year after that.

“It actually all started from a Laramie High School art teacher by the name of Tim Collins 54 years ago,” said Deegan.

Though the competition began in Laramie, Wyoming it began to gain popularity with both students and teachers for its fun, creative, and laid-back tone which eventually caused it to move from Laramie to other areas such as Douglas, Lander, and eventually Casper.

Many kids enter their artwork, but it is also not common that one student can win multiple awards for all their works of art.

One student stood out to Deegan in particular, Zane Ferrell had submitted five of his original pieces of artwork and had won five ribbons, one for each of his works of art.

Each state had gotten fourteen ribbons to show off their work and Ferrell got five which made up for over 25% of the state’s ribbons out of all thirty students that had placed their art pieces to win.

“For our school, we had thirty students with sixty pieces of artwork but statewide we had over three thousand pieces of artwork entered,” said Deegan.

The students spent two days in Casper while the teachers such as Deegan and Watson spent three days there to enjoy themselves and show off their artistic capabilities.

When the student’s artwork is being judged, they very specifically remove all the students from the room with no exceptions to get the best possible judgment without any bias or persuasion.

There is a reason for going to the competition besides just showing off your artwork, on the second day of the event there is a chance that the student can take interviews and potentially acquire scholarships for college enrollment.

The judges do the judging in shifts to keep up their reputation as being honest and unbias overall.

There is also an event that goes on the second day where the public can walk into the art exhibit and get an example of how to use various art supplies and tools to create the best work possible.

“This section of the event is more of a teaching opportunity while it also gets to keep that display aspect that everyone initially came for,” said. Deegan

On the third day, the venue opens to the public for an art show that anyone can see, and students also get to participate in a silent auction for their artwork and a raffle to win things such as gift cards and other assorted items.

At the end of the event, the students themselves get to pick the others that will get the student choice awards.