VASE stands for the Visual Art Scholastic Event and is a high school art competition. Academically eligible high school students in grades 9-12 throughout Texas can participate in VASE, entered by teachers who are members of TAEA (Texas Art Education Association). Each student can submit a maximum of two art entries. Artworks receiving a Superior Rating (IV) are presented with a Regional Medal. If a student receives an IV on their score at district and regional competitions, they will be moved onto state in San Marcos. Those who make it to state can be offered $500-$2,000 scholarships and if you are senior or junior, your portfolio can even be reviewed by companies interested in purchasing pieces.
In the last 5 years, before COVID-19, AHS has had at least one student qualify and go to state. This year, 70 pieces were submitted between the two art classes, which is a great turnout considering the active pandemic at hand. COVID-19 has caused the competition to go online and has also erased the interview process. When in-person, students were interviewed about their artworks, but now many of the student’s personalities are neglected to be shown when their pieces are submitted online.
“Kids love to talk about their artwork, they have put their blood, sweat, and tears into these pieces as if it is a piece of them.” Art teacher Baryn Shepherd said. “Not having an interview process takes a huge chunk of scores away from these pieces from being online.”
Along with the absence of the interview process, this competition has been altered to replace the interviews with a word count, small description to best explain their pieces of art.
“There is a word max and I feel like I could have explained myself and my piece a lot better if there hadn’t been.” junior Elli Garcia said. “I love art and how you can express yourself through it so it has limited my explanations for my pieces.”
The results of VASE were received on Saturday evening, Sophomore Madison Menchaca is expected to go to state for VASE in San Marcos.
“Art is a passion of mine.” Menchaca said “It’s a way to calm my mind after a long day especially with the stresses of school.”
With the constant world changing in order to cope with the worldwide pandemic, those who made it to state wonder if the state competition will be held in person or online.
“VASE is this school’s only art competition so this is students only chance to experience a competition like this.” Shepherd said.