Emma Westbrook’s art featured in state fair

Sarah Nealon, art editor

Edina High School senior Emma Westbrook won second and third place in an art competition this year at the state fair. Zephyrus interviewed her about her art and her experience with the competition.

What competitions were you entered in?

I entered two pieces into the fair, a colored pencil and a screen print. Not all the entered pieces get shown, but most things that are entered make it into the competition. The show I entered was the Education division, so it was in the Education building– the one with all the college booths and stuff.

How did your art get selected to be in the state fair?

I actually have absolutely no idea how the judging works, so as far as I know it could be some kind of black magic or futuristic robot machine, but I won second prize for the colored pencil and third for the screen print. I’m hoping to enter the adult gallery competition (in the real live gallery space) next year, when I’m an adult.

When did you start art?

I don’t really know when I started making “art” rather than just scribbling and giving it a pretentious title, but I know that the first recognizable thing that I drew was a frog peeing on the floor in preschool (I still have that drawing).

What is your favorite medium for art?

I like to draw in colored pencil and ballpoint pen (I hate pencil because it’s smudgy), and paint in watercolor. I’m also a printmaker, and I really like screenprint and LOVE drypoint, which is where you scratch into a plate of metal and print with that. It’s very archaic, and there’s sometimes dangerous acids you get to play with. This is an aside, but during my printmaking-internship-sort-of-thing at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, there was this bucket called “Rag Hell” where you would put all the acid-soaked rags. Why was it called that? Because it would randomly combust if you weren’t too careful.

What kinds of art classes have you taken, both in and outside of school?

I also do Art Academy sometimes at the Edina Art Center, and take a studio art course during the summer at Macalester.

Do you have any advice for other students interested in art?

I’d say just keep drawing – even if you think you’re not good at art, there is something out there for everyone. Literally. Even if you can’t draw, paint, or whatever, experiment with photography, or CMYK silk screening, or rendering toasters in pointillism with Photoshop.