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Students channel emotions into Visual Arts Scholastic Event

By Carolina Astrain
March 8, 2014 at 12:02 a.m.
Updated March 8, 2014 at 9:09 p.m.

From left, Victoria West High School juniors Katie Thomas, 16; Sara Staff, 16; and Katie Staff, 16, work on their art projects in Sarah Graham's art class. Sara and Katie are twins and have been friends with Katie since kindergarten.

2014 VASE Finals

Here are the names of the students from the Victoria region competing at the 2014 Visual Arts Scholastic Event from April 4 to 5 at Bryan High School.

Kirby Edwards - Victoria West High School

Katie Thomas - Victoria West High School

Katie Staff - Victoria West High School

Heidi Shay - Victoria East High School

Source: VISD

A woman with long, brown hair is restrained by an octopus and an eel under seawater.

A jellyfish swims overhead.

The sea creatures in the pencil drawing by Victoria West High School junior Katie Staff represent the toxic aspects of her life, the student said.

"I've been dealing with body weight and relationship issues this year," Katie, 16, said. "It's almost like putting it on a diary for me. I just felt it, so I just drew it."

Katie said she found a few of the pictures on the Internet and modified them slightly into a collage.

Katie is one of four Victoria school district students advancing to the state finals for the Visual Arts Scholastic Event at Bryan High School.

"I'm thrilled," Katie said. "You have no idea. This is going to be the highlight of my year."

Victoria West High School Art Department Chairwoman Shelly Tharp said Katie's piece, "Cyanotic Struggle," is not reflective of what the student appears to be like in class.

"You would never know that she was going through anything this dark by talking to her because she's a very sweet, well-spoken girl," Tharp said. "I'm very pleased with it. She articulated her thoughts well into her piece."

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