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St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure University’s Quick Center showcases work of young artists in virtual exhibition

Jun 24, 2021

Best in Show art 2
Nearly 100 young artists from across the region showcased their talent in the first-ever virtual presentation of the Middle-High School Juried Art Exhibition, held annually by the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.
Due to COVID-19 safeguards in place on campus, the Quick Center could not host its juried art exhibitions this year. They went digital instead. Everything was done virtually, from the submission of artwork to the display of selected pieces and the presentation of awards.
“Overseeing our annual juried art exhibitions for school students is one of the favorite parts of my job,” said Sean Conklin, the Quick Center’s assistant curator and museum educator. “When the pandemic forced the closing of campus to visitors, it was upsetting to think that we wouldn’t be able to run the exhibitions this museum season.”
Thanks to a Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, Growing Accessibility grant Conklin secured through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Museum Association of New York, however, the Quick Center acquired the tools and applications needed to hold the exhibitions virtually.
In addition to having their worked displayed in the virtual exhibition, students could provide a biography and additional images for an exhibition catalog. There were also artist prize packs containing an award, reproductions of the student’s artwork to share with loved ones, and art supplies to encourage them to continue creating. When possible, Quick Center staff presented prize packs to students in their school art rooms via Zoom as a way to further celebrate their accomplishments.
“It was a lot of work, but the thanks and support we received from parents, administrators and teachers for recognizing their students’ creative endeavors during this pandemic has been absolutely amazing. It’s proof of what a positive impact the arts have on students’ mental and emotional well-being and how immensely necessary they are in the curriculum,” said Conklin.
The student exhibitions are an annual source of inspiration, said Quick Center Director Ludwig Brunner. 
“It is always astonishing when the artwork arrives from so many schools in our surrounding districts. This year, again, it was very difficult for the judges to select the prize winners from such exceptional submissions,” he said. “Kudos to all the young artists, and thanks to their families and art teachers for supporting them.”
In the high school exhibition, Best in Show awards went to:
  • Sharee Armstrong, Salamanca High School
  • Lily Foster, Cassadaga Valley High School
  • Maggie Sischo, Cassadaga Valley High School
Each was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to attend St. Bonaventure University, a professional artist portfolio, and art supplies.
Best in Category awards were presented to:
  • Best in Drawing/Printmaking: Megan Jones, Kane High School
  • Best in Painting: Mackenzey Holmes, Pioneer High School
  • Best in Photography/Collage/Digital Art: Em Ensell, Allegany-Limestone High School
  • Best in Sculpture/Ceramics: Emma Barkley, Pioneer High School
In the middle school exhibition, Best in Show honors went to:
  • Brooke Voorhees, Oswayo Valley Middle School
  • Ella Rogers, Pioneer Middle School
  • Leah Kiel, Allegany-Limestone Middle School
Participating in the exhibition were students from the following New York and Pennsylvania schools: Allegany-Limestone Middle and High School, Andover Central School, Austin Area School District, Bolivar-Richburg Central School, Cassadaga Valley High School, Cattaraugus-Little Valley High School, Coudersport Junior-Senior High School, Clymer Central School, Frewsburg Central School, Genesee Valley Central School, Kane High School, Olean High School, Olean Intermediate Middle School, Oswayo Valley High School, Oswayo Valley Middle School, Pioneer Middle and High School, Portville Central School, Randolph Central School, and Salamanca High School.
To view the exhibition’s digital catalog, visit the Quick Center website and click on the “Arts Education” link.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.
About IMLS: The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. The agency’s mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 
About MANY: The Museum Association of New York inspires, connects, and strengthens New York’s cultural community statewide by advocating, educating, collaborating, and supporting professional standards and organizational development. MANY ensures that New York State museums operate at their full potential as economic drivers and essential components of their communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [CAGML-246991-OMLS-20].