Sarah Gianelli EBS Associate Editor

BIG SKY – This past February, the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture in Bozeman hosted the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards’ “Art. Write. Now. Tour,” which featured the work of student artists, grades 7-12, from around the nation who had been recognized for their excellence in fine art and writing.

While the Emerson was proud to host this inspiring and innovative collection of creative work by teens from across the country for the first time, of the 320,000 student submissions to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, zero came from the state of Montana.

In an effort to introduce this program to the public and increase Montana’s participation, the Emerson put out a call for art exclusively from regional high school students, grades 9-12.

They received 149 submissions from regional Montana high schools, from which 43 students and 50 works were chosen to hang in a month long exhibition that opened in the center’s Jessie Wilber Gallery on March 24. Bozeman, Belgrade, Ennis, Gardiner and Manhattan are among the communities represented.

“For many students this was the first time they submitted to a juried exhibit,” said Emerson Education Curator Alissa Popken. “We feel very honored to have been a part of this process for local students. The caliber of submissions is a testament to the high standards set in art classrooms around the state. We value the efforts of the instructors, students and public school system of Montana who keep the arts alive in the classroom.”

“Our Perspectives: Art Right Now” will be on display in the Emerson’s Jessie Wilber Gallery through April 28.