Seven students chosen for St. Louis Artists Guild, Young Artists Showcase


photo courtesy of Lauren Sakowski

Erica Chen poses beside her sculpture, The Man. The sculpture is on display at the St. Louis Artists Guild until March 25.

Maddy Cox, Reporter

The St. Louis Artist’s Guild hosts a yearly Young Artists Showcase in which 15 to 19-year-olds within a 150-mile radius of Clayton are selected to have their work of various mediums displayed and judged for awards.

Lafayette was the only Rockwood high school to have students chosen. Those students include seniors, Erica Chen, Sawyer Novack and August Ramirez-Icaza; juniors Claire Best, Olivia Clerico and Samantha Haney; and freshman Michelle Chen.

Both Erica and Michelle won awards, with Michelle winning a $25 honorable mention, and Erica winning a $50 award. Their pieces, along with every other chosen students’, are on display at 12 Jackson Ave. in Clayton until March 25.

“It takes a lot to both create wonderful artwork and have the courage to put it out there to be juried and potentially rejected.  I’m really glad these students allowed me to enter their work,” Art Department Chair Lauren Sakowski said. “Win or lose at the awards, they really deserve the recognition of being included.”

Ramirez-Icaza’s piece is a painting titled A Sunny Day which they created as a way to try and capture the happiness of their favorite season, summer. They even painted the piece almost completely outside.

“I’ve been selected for some of the school shows, which is an honor, but this was outside of Rockwood and I was so proud to have gotten some recognition,” Ramirez-Icaza said.

Although they don’t plan on going into the art field for work post-high school, Ramirez-Icaza does hope to keep it as a hobby throughout their life.

Clerico’s piece, Intruding, is a graphite pencil drawing that is part of a larger collection focused wholly on the feeling of jealousy. 

“I was trying to show how people are affected by jealousy. The main idea of the piece was a person looking in and pressing their face against a window to look into someone’s life,” she said. 

This is the first show that Clerico has even been selected for, and she is very excited to have received some recognition for her artwork.

Erica’s sculpture explored how technology affects a person’s posture. Titled The Man, it is one of Erica’s scarce experiences with sculpting as an art form. Although she says the process was fairly difficult, as she made an entire series of sculptures, she is happy with the way they turned out.

“Getting your art recognized is a pretty nice feeling. I’ve participated in similar showcases in the past and it’s nice to see that people enjoy [your art] or think it’s cool,” Erica said. 

Erica has won multiple awards for her work, including Gold and Silver Key awards from the Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She plans to double major in Art and Chemistry so she can continue to explore her passion.