Student unwittingly wins ‘Best in Show’

Destanie Overly didn’t even know her piece had been entered into the American of Association University Women All-Island High School Showcase of the Arts, but now she’s glad it was after winning Best in Show.

“I was surprised I won anything and the fact that I won best was even more surprising, ” said the 17-year old Oak Harbor High School junior. “I almost started crying I was so excited.”

Her art teacher Kit Christopherson thought Overly’s white charcoal image from a National Geographic cover was “exemplary,” which is why he submitted it on her behalf.

He said she spent “twice as long” as everybody else on her image, coming in before and after school to work on it.

“She developed a really arresting image,” Christopherson said.

This was Overly’s first time using white charcoal on black mat paper, but she said she caught on to the method pretty quickly. Her efforts paid off, literally, as she came home from the show with the top $100 prize. She said the win has given her more confidence in her artistic ability. The support from Christoperson has also helped.

“He knows my pieces are really good better than I know my pieces are really good,” she said with a laugh.

The AAUW showcase took place May 4 and 5 at the Coupeville Rec Hall. Students from the three high schools on the island submitted artwork to a panel of professional artists who selected the finalist pieces for exhibition and awards, according to a press release.

Prizes were awarded in five categories: wall art, photography, sculpture, ceramics and jewelry. The best in show category was new this year.

A “shutterbug” award is also given in honor of an AAUW member’s father who was an avid photographer.

Overly, who wants to continue to study art in college, said knowing her art can win in competitions like this might even push her to submit her own work next time.

“When I realized I won, it was a really big step for my art career,” she said.

Other winners at the showcase were:

Shutterbug Award – Breanna Billman

Wall Art – 1st Aurora Coffey; 2nd Edison Soliman; 3rd Aubrey James

Photography – 1st Melissa Culver; 2nd Rheanna Benson; 3rd Tauni Keyes

Sculpture – 1st Amelia Cramsey-Behke; 2nd Isabella Sanchez; 3rd Caroline Jungman

Ceramics – 1st Isabella Sanchez; 2nd Aubrey James; 3rd Destiny Goodwin

Jewelry – 1st Caroline Jungman; 2nd Cameron See

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