Kim Johnson reportingThree students, three districts, one school. That's the theme of an open house honoring this year's Sterling Scholar winners in visual art.
The students' collective accomplishments are a source of pride for an art school in Sugar House.
Bruce Robertson is down to the wire on the last piece to be hung in this weekend's art show, a show featuring the work of this year's three Sterling Scholar finalists in visual art, all three Robertson's students.
Bruce Robertson: "I was pretty elated. It was a one in a million shot."
A shot that resulted in a sweep with Ariane Mates, Laura Clarke making finalists, and Ellesse Sorbonne taking the honor of Sterling Scholar.
Ellesse Sorbonne, Skyline High School: "Since I worked with, and studied with some of the girls, I knew how good they were. It's just such an honor to be up there with them, to be recognized with them."
Sorbonne and her fellow artist Laura Clarke both say their school's emphasis on creativity helped lead to their successes.
Laura Clark/ Jordan High School: "We're taking the same classes from the same wonderful teachers. But they allow us to be individual, and be very different and creative with our own work."
Ellesse Sorbonne: "There's nothing wrong. You can't make a mistake. That's what they'd always tell us, and it took me awhile to be able to relax and purge my thoughts and emotions onto the paper. After doing that for years I think it helped me so much."
Robertson, who heads up the Visual Art Institute, says his students will fair well in college.
Bruce Robertson/ Executive Director, Visual Art Institute: "A lot of our instructors teach at the university level. So we know what's going on in the classroom at the colleges, and we adapt that to what's going on here as well. So they kind of get a leg up on college as well."
With college in the near future, for now the girls just want to enjoy the fruits of their high school labors.
The students' paintings, which line the hallways of the Visual Art Institute right now, are the culmination of untold hours of work. A self portrait, for example, took the artist 85 hours.
But the hard work--well worth it for three girls, from three different school districts, and one art school in Sugar House.
Laura Clarke: "I'm excited to see it all up, and look at what we've accomplished here, and how our hard work has paid off."
Open House Saturday 5:30p to 7:00p Visual Art Institute 1838 South 1500 East