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The Student News Site of Hill Country College Preparatory High School

The Wingspan

The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Junior Gets Gold Seal at State VASE Competition

Patten in front of her sculpture. Photo courtesy, Mrs. Jones

Junior Madz Patten won a Gold Seal at the State Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) Saturday, April 27. She and her welded phoenix advanced from the regional VASE competition in March, and her piece was one of 150 chosen from over 30,000 for the Seal at the San Marcos High School event. 

“It’s a really big honor,” art teacher Mrs. Jones said. “There are teachers that have been doing VASE for close to thirty years and haven’t had a student get the gold seal. It’s what you really try for your students to have.”

Patten is not actually a part of the AP art program. She says the rigidity of art on a deadline does not align with her “flow.” But in her second year participating in VASE, Patten has maintained a close relationship with Jones when it comes to her art, which made the reveal all the more emotional.

Jones and Patten with her certificate. Photo courtesy, Mrs. Jones

“The very first thing [Jones] said is, ‘you got a Gold Seal,’” Patten said. “I thought she was joking. Then Mrs. Jones was crying, so I was crying.”

Artists’ statements, meaning, and skill are all incorporated into the selection process when winners are chosen. Art teachers statewide make up the judges panel and are given 37 sticky notes to place on their favorite pieces, the pieces with the most sticky notes are then considered for the Gold Seal. 

“It is subjective,” Jones said. “As a teacher, you have no way of knowing how people will be voting or what they will see as quality.”

Patten’s piece will travel in an art show representing Texas high school art, with the other Gold Seal winners until November, where the show will end at the Texas Art Educators Association (TAEA) conference. She plans to shoot for State again next year.

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About the Contributor
Abbey Shultz
Abbey Shultz, Section Editor
Abbey Shultz is currently a junior at HCCPHS and is the section editor for opinion pieces and feature stories. She spends most of her free time listening to music, reading, and writing. She is an advocate for Oxford commas and wants to eventually go into a writing career. Her goal for her time with The Wingspan is to improve with every article.
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