For Immediate Release
March 14, 2013

Students honored during the 31st annual Illinois Arts Education Week

Poster contest winners recognized at Governor’s Mansion in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) honored student winners of the statewide arts education poster contest today at the Governor’s Mansion, a highlight of the 31st annual Illinois Arts Education Week that runs March 11-17 and celebrates the importance of the fine arts. Students across the state competed to create posters reflective of this year’s theme, “Arts 4 All!”

“Art education plays a vital role in the development of our students,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “I would like to congratulate not just the winning artists here today but also the instructors and parents who encourage such creativity.”

The statewide poster contest celebrating Arts Education Week alternates between elementary/middle and secondary students each year. The contest was open to students in grades 9-12 this year.

First place went to Holly Johnson, an 18-year-old senior at Hinsdale South High School in Hinsdale Township High School District 86. Her art instructor at Hinsdale South is Greg Gardner.

“I've been drawing ever since I can remember,” said Holly Johnson. “I decided to take art classes in high school to explore opportunities with art in the future and discovered I loved to create my paisley designs over bright colors with bold black lines.”

Holly’s winning design is featured on a poster promoting Illinois Arts Education Week. Gov. Pat Quinn issued a proclamation designating the special week.

“My inspiration for this piece was the freedom that comes with art. The crazy and random designs, in a way, represent the craziness that comes with art, allowing one to express oneself and find freedom,” Holly said. “When creating the picture, I knew I wanted to incorporate ballerina slippers, the drama masks, music notes and paint to cover all areas of the fine arts while also showing my own artistic style with the bright colors and paisley design.”

Second place in the poster contest went to Kelly Henaughan, 18, a senior at St. Charles East High School. Her art instructor in St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 is Louise Miller. Trystin Mansfield, a 16-year-old junior at DuQuoin High School, received third place in ISBE’s poster contest. His art instructor in DuQuoin Community Unit School District 300 is Andrea Collins.

In addition to honoring students, the 2013 award ceremony recognized individuals, community organizations and businesses that have contributed to the arts and art education. Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon was presented with the Public and Community Service Award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education.

“Education goes far beyond our math, science and English classes. The arts play a pivotal role in our students’ lives, fostering creativity and providing more avenues for them to excel,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon. “It is essential we recognize the arts and fight to keep them in our schools.”

Illinois Arts Education Week 2013 is sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education in conjunction with the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education (IAAE) and the Governor’s Office. The IAAE is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, receiving support, award recognition programs and professional development opportunities. ISBE is also a partner with the Illinois Arts Council. National, state and local activities are held throughout March to celebrate art education.

Additional posters can be requested by contacting the Illinois State Board of Education’s College and Career Readiness Division at (217) 524-4832;; or via mail at 100 N. First St., N-242, Springfield, IL 62777-0001.

The back of the poster contains references to the Illinois Learning Goals and Standards for the Fine Arts, upcoming art events for 2013, Internet resources and more. Go to to view the winning designs.


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