Jenna Miller is no stranger to receiving accolades for her basketball abilities. Last week, however, the South Shelby High School senior was in the spotlight for her work as an artist.


Jenna Miller is no stranger to receiving accolades for her basketball abilities. Last week, however, the South Shelby High School senior was in the spotlight for her work as an artist.
“It (art) is one of my other passions,” said Jenna, who is taking two art classes this year.
Jenna, who will be attending St. Louis University on a full basketball scholarship, transformed her love of basketball into an entry that captured Best in Mixed Media at Hannibal-LaGrange College’s 21st annual high school art competition.
“My teacher (Zach Grassely) said to do something I liked. I wanted to do it on basketball which is something I love,” she said.
Jenna’s entry, which features images of her basketball uniform, captured honorable mention at a previous art show. She admits not expecting it to be a top entry at HLG.
“I’m pretty shocked,” she said, adding that her entry will likely wind up hanging on a wall of the apartment she lives in at college.
Among South Shelby’s other award winners at HLG was junior Sam Bode. Sam captured a first (oil painting), second (print making) and two honorable mentions (ink and pastels).
“I had six pieces in the show,” she said. “I was hoping to place in a couple of categories. I was surprised to place in four different categories.”
Of the various divisions Sam entered, she didn’t hesitate when asked which art form she prefers.
“Oil painting is definitely my favorite,” she said. “It’s thicker than acrylic, so you have more time to work with it.”
Sam’s painting is not limited to school.
“I paint at home. My mom bought an easel and brushes for me,” she said, adding she would one day like to be an art teacher.
This year’s art competition at HLG attracted approximately 300 entries from six area high schools, according to J. Robin Stone, chairman of the college’s fine arts division.
“That’s a little down for the number of schools and I don’t know why,” he said. “Sometimes there are other shows that they are saving pieces for.”
While the number of participating schools may have been down, the quality of the entries wasn’t reported Stone.
“It was high quality in a variety of media,” he said, noting that there were 12 categories students could enter. “We continue to encourage bigger and better things from students.”
Stone is pleased that HLG continues to provide a platform for young artists to display their work.
“I enjoy having this opportunity,” he said. “I’m thankful for the support of the president and administration to put this on. There’s a good bit of work that goes into doing this.”