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wdse-tv channel 8 annual essay, art and photography contest

The winning essays, photos and artwork in WDSE-TV Channel 8's 10th annual high school competition pack a powerful punch. The theme for this year's contest -- "The Power of Art" -- reflects an outreach grant the station received for the eight-part...

The winning essays, photos and artwork in WDSE-TV Channel 8's 10th annual high school competition pack a powerful punch.

The theme for this year's contest -- "The Power of Art" -- reflects an outreach grant the station received for the eight-part PBS series of the same name. The contest drew 517 essays, 215 photos and 236 art submissions from students around the Northland. The winners received cash scholarships of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second, $250 for third and $100 for fourth.

Walker Van Dixhorn of Hayward High School won first place with his essay about glass blower Dale Chihuly. He described how the art affected him and how the process of creation "has the power to forever alter the way we see ourselves, our lives and our world."

Katina Petsoulis of Hermantown High School won first place in the art competition with a sculpture of a head with the continents of the world on it. In her artist's statement, she wrote that art guides people toward hope.

Renee Runia of Hermantown High School won first place in the photography contest with a close-up photo of a rose and an insect. She wrote that art can take something that already is beautiful and make it unique.

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The entries in the art and photography categories this year were more idea-centered and political than in past years, said Dan Corbett, director of lifelong learning at WDSE.

Entries represented the entire spectrum of political thought from intense patriotism to anti-war and anti-government opinion, satire of current leaders, a lot of religious pieces and some very involved human justice issue pieces, Corbett wrote in an e-mail. "People are going to talk about this exhibit for quite a while," he wrote.

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