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      Highland Park art students shine at state competition

      Students at Highland Park have won top honors for their art work at State Competition. In fact, one piece will remain at the State Capitol.

      25,000 students started off in Regional Competition. That number went down to 1500 on Saturday, April 6th during State Competition. Out of that, only 150 medaled. Eight of those were from Highland Park. Pronews 7 is featuring their accomplishment in this week's Region 16 Spotlight on Education.

      Step into the hallways of Highland Park and into the Art classroom, and there's no doubt these students are talented.

      "What I did was a still life with bottles pumpkins. I call it Autumn Harvest. In state you don't really place you just medal, and I medaled. It was really exciting, I didn't know I was going to be this good at it, that I could make it," said Highland Park Junior, Desiree Ranstell.

      Make it she did, as well as several other classmates. Dominic Pham even placed gold. A moment that his Art Teacher Doug Howard said brought tears to everyone's eyes. His piece is a blue and violet self portrait. It will sit at the State Capitol until November.

      "It shocked me and it made me really inspired to keep doing art for the next couple of years and I might think about going to college art maybe," said Pham.

      "This has been my first year to compete in state and go to vase and its been really interesting to see the different art work, its just been a great experience for me to see everything," said Highland Park Junior, Tyrell Campbell.

      "It meant a lot to me because I worked really hard on this piece last year and the Math was done on it wrong and so I didn't actually get to get that chance and to have this chance for this one to make it feels really good to me," said Highland Park Junior, Rhiannon Sellinger.

      Howard said he is grateful for such a supportive administration.

      "I think its very important that a very good administrative staff that's supportive of the arts and not just visual arts like this, but music and theatre and the oral written poetry and have a creative writing class," said Howard.

      "It's a creative outlet that you can use to express yourself and it's just you know a good outlet," said Campbell.

      Most of the students say they'll continue to use Art as a hobby after graduation. They all plan on taking Art next year and going to competition once again.