Event showcases high school artists; two seniors awarded $1,000

ART SCHOLARSHIPS — Karlie Patterson, center, holds a $1,000 scholarship check and the photograph that won it for her at Renaissance Wine Garden in Wright City. Also pictured are Warren County Fine Arts Council President Jennifer Schipper, holding the watercolor painting of scholarship winner Kalene Masters, not pictured, and Renaissance owner John Cook. Adam Rollins photo.
Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

Two Warren County graduate seniors will receive $1,000 scholarships for their participation in an art showcase hosted by the Warren County Fine Arts Council and Renaissance Wine Garden.

Kalene Masters of Wright City High School and Karlie Patterson of Warrenton High School are the winners of the awards. Sponsor John Cook, owner of Renaissance Wine Garden, said the prizes can be used for any education, not just art. By providing the awards, he hopes to encourage continued work in the arts, even if the students make a living in a different profession.

Cook said the showcase winners could also be offered future opportunities to be paid for their work at the wine garden.

Patterson, whose showcase piece was a photograph of a student welder printed on a metal plate, said photography is something she’s been interested in all her life. Along with participating in yearbook club, she said the art showcase has been further encouragement to continue photography as she goes to college at Murray State University in Kentucky.

“My mom is a professional photographer, so I’ve always been involved. Even as a 5 year old, I was following her around with a little camera,” Patterson said. “I just bought a camera not too long ago that I’m hoping to take to college and continue taking pictures with.”

This was the first year that Renaissance and the Fine Arts Council have partnered to run a senior art showcase. A pandemic passing through put a damper on activities related to the showcase, but Cook said he was glad to have some student participants.

“Everybody gets a pass for 2020, and 2021 will be a better year,” Cook said. “I’ve had a good response with a number of the students, just not enough. I want to see 10 times more art.”

Cook said he’s committed to growing the number of participants next year, including by offering a third scholarship for home school students.

Part of the art showcase, hosted on the delayed date of July 24, included the student artwork being displayed at the Renaissance alongside the works of professional artists from the Warren County area.

“We’re lucky in Warren County. A lot of people don’t know how many good artists we actually have here,” Cook commented.

Also included were select pieces provided by senior citizens participating in a painting series hosted by the Warren County Fine Arts Council.

Fine Arts Council President Jennifer Schipper said she hopes the showcase will become a bridge to students in the high schools and encourage more student art programs.

“This is to bring the art out of the artists and bring more art to the community,” Schipper said. “We’re at a time right now when art can thrive. If you look at history, when things go south ... artists help rejuvenate and revitalize.”

Schipper said although funding for the scholarship was provided by John Cook and Renaissance, the decision to award the scholarships to Masters and Patterson was made by a committee of Fine Arts Council members.

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