Lee's Summit R-7 School District
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LSR7 Honors 2021 Kiwanis Artists of the Year

Each year, LSR7 names six Kiwanis Artists of the Year — an honor given to one art student at each middle and high school. Watch a virtual art show of these talented artists and read why their art instructors nominated them for the award.

Vy Nguyen from Lee’s Summit High School: “Vy Nguyen has been a role model art student all four years at LSHS. Her freshman year she was the Art Department Academic Award Winner and grew into becoming an IB Visual Art student in her later years. Sophomore year she was chosen by HT Solutions to have her holiday card design printed and sent world wide to their global customer base. In 2019-2020 she won The Manning Williams Best of Show Award at the Art Olympics along with competing and showing artwork at the Ray-Pec Art Competition. Entering and placing in numerous art shows over the course of her high school career she also lettered in art and academics while being on the Principal’s Honor Roll all four years. After high school she’ll be pursuing a creative career in the film industry and awaiting her first debut this summer as she was selected in the Kansas City Film Festival for the Heartland Student Shorts category. Last year she placed 2nd in the Student Television Network: Intro Segment and her photos were re-posted by the VSCO Instagram page (2020). She’s talented, motivated, hard working, and humble.”

Caleigh Gabel from Lee’s Summit North High School: “Caleigh has established herself as an active and hardworking art student with dedication to her growth as an individual and artist. Caleigh demonstrates commitment to her own personal growth and effort with her art discovery and has actively pursued contests and independent studies to develop her growth in art. Caleigh has been awarded in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards two consecutive years, most recently winning a Gold Key, a Silver Key, and an Honorable Mention. Caleigh has also been selected as Student of the Month within the LSN Art Department multiple times. Caleigh has taken multiple independent art courses outside of school from community art galleries and workshops and works on her own independent art commissions. She is very teachable and open to critical feedback, always taking advice and guidance and learns from her own experiences and processes. As she moves on to study art at the Kansas City Art Institute, she will undoubtedly continue to be a rising star.”

Rebekah Hartwig from Lee’s Summit West High School: “Rebekah Hartwig has excelled throughout high school at Lee’s Summit West. As a dedicated student, Rebekah is involved in the marching band, the art department and serves as President of Chinese Club and Co-President of National Honor Society, all while earning placement in the top 5% of her graduating class. A highly motivated student, Rebekah commits to creating successful artwork, demonstrating mastery of materials and thoughtful consideration to her subject matter. She has challenged herself to explore a range of media at LSW, including Drawing, Painting, Computer Graphics, and Ceramics. It is in Rebekah’s paintings that her artistry shines through use of bold color and artistic expression.

This year, the LSW Art Department has enjoyed seeing Rebekah express her personal voice by focusing on concepts surrounding identity and culture. Her paintings have narrative qualities, aligning with her interest in storytelling. Her intellect and thoughtfulness play important roles in her work, as well as contribute to classroom discussions. Rebekah is a role model to others with her strong work ethic, sheer talent, and helpful attitude. Rebekah’s work has been recognized in local and regional art competitions, earning awards at Summit Arts Fest and juried high school arts exhibitions through UCM, Merriam, and MSU. She is also a 2021 Seven Days Button Art Competition winner. Rebekah plans to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA to study animation.”

Hanna Silver from Pleasant Lea Middle School: “Hanna has an incredible artistic spirit! Her love of creating and drive to learn and improve shines in her work. She’s not afraid to work outside her comfort zone and pushes herself to learn something new with every piece of artwork she creates.”

Brooklyn Cantrell from Bernard Campbell Middle School: “Brooklyn enters the art room each day with a big smile on her face and can’t wait to be creative! She has a fiery passion for all things art, music, theater, and visual. She recently stole the show starring as Wednesday Addams in our school play, The Addams Family. Not only is Brooklyn spunky and full of positive energy at all times, she shares this trait to build up her classmates and peers throughout the day. I often hear her encouraging another student to take a chance and do something outside the box in art class. This makes Brooklyn a true leader and inspiration to others. One of my favorite art pieces that Brooklyn did was a submission for our Yearbook Cover Contest during virtual learning. Almost all of our entries were centered around the pandemic and mask wearing. Brooklyn took a completely different approach and created a cover that was a throwback to “The Roaring 20’s”. This girl is going places!”

Dakota Penrod from Summit Lakes Middle School: “In the most inconsistent and chaotic school year ever, Dakota has been a consistent, reliable, and hardworking artist that never ceases to go far above and beyond the typical expectations to create her beautiful works of art. She is incredibly humble about her skills and always excited to push herself and her skills to the next level. Not only is she a consistent presence with her work at school (in person and virtually) but she also pushes herself to expand her skills through independent practice on her own drawings, paintings, and digital artwork.”