Story provided by Lauren Boettcher, Lakota Media and Community Relations
ABBY KOCH’S PORTFOLIO OF WORK
Lakota West senior Abby Koch (pronounced “cook”) spent her only snow day in the last two school years working on a project for her AP Art class. That’s at least one explanation for her being named this year’s Cincinnati Overture Award winner for Visual Arts.
“It’s an incredible honor,” said Lakota West art teacher Stephanie Gauer. “By giving her the award, the Cincinnati Arts Association is basically saying Abby is the best Visual Arts student in the entire Greater Cincinnati region. That says a lot.”
The Overture Awards Scholarship Competition is currently the region’s largest solo arts competition for high school students (grades 9-12). The Scholarship Competition rewards artistic excellence in six disciplines: Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art and Vocal Music. The Overture Awards Program recruits judges for the competition from the professional arts community.
Gauer points out a distinguishing characteristic of this particular competition not shared by many others: Students were required to submit an entire portfolio of work. “In other words, Abby didn’t win with just one great piece. She won with eight great pieces.”
Many of the pieces in her winning portfolio were part of that concentration area, including such titles as “Pride,” Struggle” and “Wrath.” More often than not, the final product was reached by way of an elaborate photo shoot Abby set up to help replicate the end result she envisioned. Creating such still photographs from which to paint or draw has become a method Abby’s adopted with most of her pieces and one that Gauer commends.
“She’s both the artist and the art director,” said Gauer, noting the more than 50 photographs Abby will take before even putting paint to canvas. “She truly understands the amount of time and effort that must go into creating a great work. More than 50 percent of the work is finished before she even sits down to start on the piece.
“Even good student artists don’t know how hard they have to work to be successful, but that’s what sets Abby apart from the rest.” (more…)