Felix Harrington Wins Art Scholarship

Rebecca Donaldson

Kaw Valley Bank hosted an art show for high school seniors in the Topeka area, and SHHS artist, Felix Harrington, won first place, being awarded a $1,500 scholarship for his sculpture representation of mental illnesses.

Shawnee Heights sent Felix Harrington, Macey Spaulding, and Elaena Steffen to this show. Harrington entered sculptures focusing on mental illness, Spaulding entered paintings on Cynical realism, and Steffen entered 3-dimensional jewelry pieces.

Kaw Valley Bank hosted and sponsored the event for the students. A professor from Washburn University, Azyz Sharafy, was the judge for this competition. They submitted their pieces a couple days prior to the event and they were judged the day before.

“The sculptures were all apart of my AP studio art portfolio last year,” Harrington said.

Students were able to enter any pieces made before the competition took place. Pieces included sculptures, paintings, drawings, and other mediums were also accepted.

“They were all based on bad thoughts and around mental illness. They were all personifications of thoughts, and mental illnesses and things I struggle with,” Harrington said.

He uses art as a form of expression for personal feelings. All of his art has a deeper meaning than what is seen at first glance.

“It wasn’t anything that I just looked up on Wikipedia, there are a lot of artists out there who do that because they think it’s cool or spooky,” Harrington said.

Three students from each high school in the Topeka area were invited. About 15 students attended the art show. Students were able to attend by receiving a recommendation from an art teacher at their school.

This year, Harrington has been working on sculptures that represent relationships and personal growth. He likes to combine that concept with metaphorical creatures in nature.

After graduating, Harrington is planning to attend Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR.