First Time Student Art Show A Success

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | By Harriet Rice |

Nearly 300 art showgoers came to view and appreciate the work of 48 area high school students at the Burnett Area Arts Group (BAAG) Outstanding Student Art Show March 9-10 at Northwoods Crossing Event Center in Siren.

[Photo above: Student Artist Jazmine Joy Mangelsen, Webster HS, is inspired by current events and social issues.]

BAAG members who worked hard to stage the first-ever show of its kind said it was satisfying and rewarding, especially so for BAAG co-chair Thom Scott, an artist and retired art teacher. “The participation exceeded what I expected. This is something I wanted to do and have wanted to make happen even when I was teaching,” said Scott.

He said the show's timing corresponds to “an evolution that's happening with BAAG. We are growing, and some of this is spawned from our new relationship and partnership with Northwest Passage.” Now that BAAG has its non-profit status, he said there would be more emphasis on the group's educational mission.

'Sea Nebula' is the title of this watercolor by Mercedes Thompson, Frederic HS
The five participating high schools and art teachers were Carrie Petersen, Frederic;  Jeremy Tomczak, Grantsburg; Kyle Clemins, Luck; Dawn Schulz, Siren; and Kim Kriegel, Webster. Each teacher picked up to 12 students and their selected works.

Every medium was represented: painting, drawing, pottery, ceramics, fiber, sculpture, and mixed media. One piece incorporated pencil sharpener shavings in a collage.

Mandy Close, Siren HS, created this three-dimensional piece called 'Stained Glass.'

“What I love best about teaching art is seeing what the students come up with – their imagination. Every kid comes up with something different from the kids next to them,” said Frederic's Petersen.  

The overall reaction from the kids was “it's really cool that we get to see what other students are doing.” They appreciated the opportunity to show and share their work in a public setting.

Rep. Nick Milroy (73rd District) attended the Burnett Area Arts Group's Outstanding Student Art Show March 9-10, He talks to Dawn Schultz, Siren school art teacher (center), and her daughter, Grace.

Among the guests was 73rd Assembly District Representative Nick Milroy who circulated through the crowd and spoke briefly before certificates were awarded. “Creative thinkers are the future of our economy,” he said. 

“I'm proud to recognize these wonderful art students, their teachers and families. We need to continue to grow our creative class and invest in their future – supporting the arts in K-12 is essential to accomplishing this,” he added.

Thom Scott noted, “The cooperation by the faculty members/art teachers has just been unbelievable. It's very rewarding working with them. Most of these faculty members haven't had any exchanges whatsoever with one another, and the fact that these kids can come together and what they're doing in their schools is really something”

For additional information about BAAG activities and membership, call 715-349-2807 or email

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