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West Jordan Journal

Student art on display at prestigious show

Feb 27, 2017 11:56AM ● By Jet Burnham

Cassandra Parkin’s piece entitled “Opinion.” (Cassandra Parkin/Copper Hills High School)

by Jet Burnham | [email protected]
The annual Utah All-State High School Art Show is essentially the state championship of art. The Springville Museum of Art, which hosts the showcase, receives about 1,000 submissions each year from Utah juniors and seniors. Only about 30 percent of the entries are chosen to be showcased in the museum’s exhibit, said Ali Royal, museum educator.
“The show in itself is one of the most impressive displays of work each year,” said Christine Fedor, fine arts department chair at Copper Hills High School. “To just be accepted into the show is an award in itself. To receive the honors that Copper Hills students did this year is beyond impressive.”
Standing out in this year’s competition, 11 out of the 27 pieces Copper Hills High school students submitted were accepted into the show. Four of those pieces also won awards.
“Students who won the awards seemed to have unique approaches and responses to art-making,” Fedor said. “I believe the pieces that won were also quite conceptual in nature.”
Cassandra Parkin, a Copper Hills senior, created two of the photography pieces accepted into the show . Her piece that won the Juror’s Best in the category award for photography was inspired by the landscape of Blackfoot, Idaho, where her mother grew up. Parkin compiled photos she took of the area in a wire-bound book, which she handmade with pages weathered by coffee, thoughtful text added with a typewriter and a cover made from barn wood.
Cassandra’s other piece on display at the show is a self-portrait that incorporated paint and newspaper clippings modge-podged over the top of her photograph. She said the photo conveys heartbreak, while the addition of bright colors brings a feeling of hope to the piece.
“I push boundaries with art, and I think that that’s what’s beautiful about it—even if it’s dark,” Cassandra said.
Because of her love of all art, Cassandra packs a variety of art classes into her schedule at Copper Hills, where she says her teachers push her to be better.
“Cassandra Parkin is a self-motivated and visionary student,” said Fedor, her photography teacher. “She has very specific ideas about her creative process, and she is able to pre-visualize what it is she wants to achieve. But what is most awesome about watching Cass work is that she is not afraid to refine her ideas, her processes, and her artwork. She is able to defend and explain the choices she makes during the process of making art. I believe that to be important part of being an artist.”
This competition was the first time Parkin has submitted her work to a show, but she says it has given her the confidence to do it again.
“For many students, this exhibition will be their first taste of competition, something they will encounter in their future art careers in college and later in the professional world,” according to the museum website.
Cassandra is thrilled that this prestigious honor will catch the attention of colleges and enable her to continue to study and produce art.
Those visiting the show can also see Cassandra in two of the other pieces on display. She was the model for two of her friends’ pieces, one of which won an Award of Merit for Josh Peterson.
Cassandra is impressed with the work her fellow students have produced.
“We had such a mix of beautiful minds and beautiful artists that could produce such amazing things,” she said.
The exhibit runs from until March 24. Visit for more information on museum hours and location.