Dukane’s Fall Art Show brings in the best of student creativity


Yzabelle de Luna

Visitors to show got to see some of the area’s best student work.

Yzabelle de Luna, Staff Writer

On November 16, high school students across the DuKane region were recognized at the 2022 DuKane Art Show for their artistic talents.

These students came from a variety of schools including Batavia, Geneva, Glenbard North, Lake Park, St. Charles East, St. Charles North, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South.

The DuKane Art Show is an annual event hosted every fall by the DuKane Conference that aims to honor the artistic talents showcased by high school students across the DuKane area.

Students’ pieces are chosen to be displayed in a gallery and judged to receive awards in certain categories they’re entered in. The pieces were displayed in the Norris Cultural Arts center at the beginning of November to be openly viewed by the public before the closing reception took place on November 16.

The closing reception took place over the course of two and a half hours, the first 30 minutes of which were a final open gallery for all attendees to have one last look through the gallery.

St. Charles East students were nominated by teachers to have their pieces showcased. Their work was put into one of 10 categories: drawing, painting, ceramics/glass, mixed media/printmaking, sculpture/jewelry, photography, digital photography, digital illustration, graphic design and time arts.

All categories presented awards to honorable mentions, 3rd place, 2nd place and 1st place. The group of nominated STCE students included Madison Bach, Madison Cruver, Yzabelle de Luna, Frida Henig, Aether Konopacki, Zoe Lotarski, Emily Prell, Alina Rederer, Vianne Slovick, Aina Smith-Vals, Grace Stehman, Alden Van Beest, Danny Vargas and Rachel White.

Out of these 14 students, nine received awards and were recognized in the awards ceremony: Zoe Lotarski as an honorable mention in sculpture/jewelry, Frida Henig as an honorable mention in digital illustration, Yzabelle de Luna as an honorable mention in graphic design, Aina Smith-Vals as an honorable mention in time arts, Alden Van Beest as an honorable mention and 3rd place in time arts, Madison Cruver as 3rd place in ceramics/glass, Madison Bach as 2nd place in painting, Danny Vargas as 1st place in sculpture/jewelry and Grace Stehman as 1st place in digital illustration.

When asked about the experience, Smith-Vals stated, “I felt it was really amazing and exhilarating to have won something of my film in a larger competition. This film had previously won first place in a film competition with North and East, so it felt nice to be recognized a second time for this piece, even if it was [an] honorable mention and not first.”

Smith-Vals’ piece was a comedy/horror short film about a doll haunting the protagonist that was largely up for interpretation from the viewer as to why the doll was haunting the protagonist in the first place.

“I would definitely recommend that others submit [to] these sorts of events because even if you don’t win, you can say you submitted on a resume and such,” she said in regard to others who may be considering participating in future shows. “[Some] competitions even give feedback which can help in future submissions, so if you have the option, try submitting! You will never be told you’re not good enough so go for it, it’s just a matter of learning and progressing as a producer of artistic media.”

In his closing comments, STCE art teacher Phillip Nelson stated, “I’ve had the honor to do this [for] 11 years in a row now, and every year I’m absolutely blown away by the quality and the caliber of the work that these students keep putting out.”

Nelson addressed students directly: “[To] every single student that’s here: you should all be extremely proud of yourselves for what you’ve accomplished and what you will continue to accomplish, and how it’s up to you guys to keep making this show great, and you never seem to disappoint year after year. So, well done.”

Below is a gallery of some of the student work showcased at the DuKane Art Show.