Art Students Receive High Honor


Elena Lee’s artwork Photo Credit: Mrs. Smith

Dali. Picasso. Gogh. Monet.

When it comes to art, Salvador Dali’s name is one of the top recognized and his influence is unmatchable. Lucky enough for the art students here at the ranch, many of his masterpieces are featured right in our own backyard. The Dali Museum is world renown for it’s impressive collection of his works, second in the world after Europe.

Located in downtown St.Petersburg, the art museum boasts not only the projects of the master himself but rather, statewide artist.

Three Wiregrass Ranch students were selected to feature their art at the Dali Museum. Emma Heitzinger (12th grade), Elijah Langois (graduated in 2016), and Elena Lees’ (12th grade) art works were accepted into the Florida Statewide Student Surrealist Exhibit: Between Dream and Reality. Their works were on display at the Salvador Dali Museum from May 16th to August 28th.

The students were selected out of over 400 entries statewide. “It’s a great honor to be selected out of so many entries,” gushed student Elena Lee.

Students were asked to create a piece of work that incorporated the theme “Between Dream and Reality.” Heitzinger said that she wanted to make her favorite landscapes become a land between dream and reality, whereas Lee confessed that her own personal dreams inspired her artwork.”Winning the contest definitely reassures you as an artist. It was a boost of confidence,” admits Emma Heitzinger.

Both Heitzinger and Lee agree Wiregrass has helped them become better artists.  “I’ve been taught so much here. I’ve been taught different styles and techniques, art isn’t just one concept,” says Heitzinger.

Art teacher, Mrs. Paula Roush-Smith hopes to inspire her current students to apply for the contest this year. She took her students on a field trip to see the student exhibit at the Dali to inspire them to apply and to show them their peer’s accomplishments.

“The new theme this year is ‘surreal identity,’ and I hope to have many students apply again this year. It is such an amazing honor and accomplishment for any artist to be featured in such a prestigious museum,” said Roush-Smith.