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BHS senior's work featured at Visual Arts State Festival

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BHS senior's work featured at Visual Arts State Festival

Mallory McAllister never had any grand ambitions of becoming an artist. She just wanted to be like her older sister, Kira, who she used to watch use a drawing pad to create digital art on her computer.

“When I was little she was really into art and I kind of followed in her footsteps,” Mallory said.

Mallory received the Spotlight Artist Award May 4.

It wasn’t until Mallory started at Burnsville High School that her interest in art rose to another level. Early on, she began taking every art elective class she could fit into her schedule. The more classes she took, the more her skills improved and the more she enjoyed creating her various pieces. Mallory’s senior year culminated May 4 at the Section 5AA art show at the Perpich Center where one of her pieces earned her a Spotlight Artist Award. Her ceramic Sea Bowl was one of 14 pieces out of over 200 to receive the distinction, which led to it being displayed May 11 at the MSHSL’s Visual Arts State Festival. 

The 6 inch by 6 inch Sea Bowl features marbles, an octopus, star fish, sea slugs, clams, seashells and barnacles, all covered in 15 different glazes.

“It’s way more intricate than anything I’ve ever made,” Mallory said. “I honestly wasn’t expecting it to do as well as it did. I’m definitely proud because as I was taking it down people were asking to get a closer look at it and complimenting me. I wasn’t expecting people to like it as much as they did.”

In addition to three ceramics classes, Mallory also took global arts and jewelry 1 and 2, drawing and painting 1 and 2, visual media and design, film and photography and an arts-based independent study during her time at BHS. She said ceramics remains her favorite, but it’s the broad range of arts classes she was able to take at BHS that enriched her entire high school experience.

“If we hadn’t had so many options, I would have never gone this far,” Mallory said. “There are 3-4 levels of almost any art class. If there’s one level sometimes you can take it and forget about it, but because you're able to take it every semester or year you really pick up where you left off and keep going.”

Mallory received the Spotlight Artist Award May 4.

Mallory also said her teachers have been integral to her positive experiences in art classes.

“I want to recognize my teachers for being so outgoing and helpful throughout high school,” she said. “Mrs. Buckrey I’ve had for four years and she has been extremely helpful and encouraging of my work. This year, Mrs. Dolan has been my independent study teacher and she’s gone out of her way to help a lot of us and stay after school and get us new glazes. I’m very thankful I’ve had her as my teacher.”

This fall, Mallory will attend the University of Vermont where she plans to major in Engineering. 

The school has different Learning Communities designed to engage students around common interests and Mallory has chosen the Arts and Creativity community.

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