Fox Valley Art Conference features MCHS students’ artwork

Of the featured work at the FVC Art Show, two MCHS students earned honorable mentions while over 40 participated


Barbara Drufke

Artwork by MCHS students were on display at McHenry County College during the Fox Valley Art Show last month.

Tati Rubi, Staff Writer

On Thursday, April 13, the Fox Valley Art Conference was held at Crystal Lake Central featuring multiple schools within the county, including MCHS.

Every year, the county holds an art conference, which rotates locations every year. This year, it was held at Crystal Lake Central. All of the schools that are part of the Fox Valley Conference have a space within the show to bring work. 

“Throughout the year, or the semester, we just pick pieces,” Jessica Metropulos, MCHS art teacher, says. “We as teachers encourage students saying things like ‘You know, this would be a good piece for the show. Why don’t you submit it?’”

Typically, upperclassmen are more represented because of how competitive the conference can be, along with the fact that it is jurried. This year there were about 18 freshmen representatives present.

“We have three judges this time,” Metropulos says. “They were all staff from MCC with an art department show, so it’s a pretty serious event, and you bring really competitive pieces. Those pieces are from students that are in their second or third level.”

The MCHS art teachers, Metropulus and Barbara Drufke, had to map the art, label it and bring it to show. They took most of the day off to get the work set up.

“They give out awards, and then, they give every school an honorable mention,” Metropulos says. “About 40 students participated in the event this year. Our honorable mentions were Michelle Jimenez and Katie Ignot.”

Metropulos mentions being a part of these conferences and winning an award can look great on a resume. She encourages most of her art students to try at least once. 

“Being a part of the FVC was fun and it really gave me a boost of confidence about my art work!” Ignot said. “And the FVC in general was just a lot of fun, seeing everyone else’s artwork and seeing friends’ artworks.” 

Participating in the event does not only mean presenting art but being able to see others’ creativity and expression throughout. 

“I feel that art is an expression of one’s self,” Jimenez said. “I feel like expressing yourself is so important to do as people. It felt weird to ‘compete’ with other artists. I prefer to uplift others and help them improve their art by critiquing them, rather than competing against them.”

The work that is coming back from the show will be featured at the District 156 art show on May 11, and many more MCHS students will be represented.