Visual Arts Team to Compete in Madison


Photo by: Amanda Pierron

Amanda Pierron, Student of Journalism

The Visual Arts team gets back on track to winning after struggling with a mid-pandemic competition loss and leadership switch.

“VAC is a performing art team. They spend time doing art, they get a prompt, and then they compete,” art teacher Mrs. Amy Rieder said.

According to the Wisconsin Art Education Association, VAC is a high school art competition held throughout the state of Wisconsin. Teams of up to 12 students work on individual and team art challenges. Team preparation for VAC often starts in late October. The regional competitions take place in February to March and vary by location. In April, the first place winners in all categories come together to compete in a state competition in Madison. Teams and students earn medals and trophies for their efforts.

The 2021 competition was in the midst of COVID-19, and more schools were participating than previous years, making it rough on Neenah’s team. One of the four events, critical thinking, that NHS had exceeded at in past years, was even taken out of the virtual competition.

“I would say for me personally I found it a lot harder to compete over zoom than when I went and competed in person, because I missed the excitement from my team and the inspiration I could draw off of being surrounded by other artists,” Third year member and 2022 team leader Kyler Lasee said.

Along with the struggle of last year’s online competition, art teacher Mrs. Emma Santiago, who usually leads the team, is out on maternity leave. This leaves Mrs. Rieder, leading the team. 

“This is my first time running a club at NHS! I’m not worried. People on the team know exactly what they’re doing, and they’ve been super helpful. For almost all of the members, this is their second or third year!” Mrs. Rieder said.

Even with the hard times the past year, the Visual Arts Classic team is ready to head off to Madison in April for the 2022 competition.

Update from Mrs. Santiago (March 7):  The team did great – eight are going to state for on-site category and seven going to state for their long-term category!  The club also wants to start recruiting members for next season.