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Crafting backup plan: Artist retools project, finishes among top in state

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, May 5, 2018
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Talented Trio

TALENTED TRIO – Boyd artists Shelby Wade, Mycaila Loya and Joaquin Angel landed projects in the Texas Visual Arts Scholastic Event. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

When Joaquin Angel’s initial plans to use rocks for his sculpture fell apart, he found himself in a time crunch to complete his project for the Texas Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE).

The Boyd senior quickly adapted his design and turned out a masterpiece in just three days. Angel’s elephant sculpture made of clay finished among the top works of art at the state contest, receiving the rare rating of 4.

“It was my first time to do a sculpture,” Angel said.

“I was also working two out of the three days – 12-hour shifts. I did it. Let the record show.”

Two other Boyd students – junior Shelby Wade and freshman Mycaila Loya – had pieces make the state event. Wade’s unique mannequin she named “Mi-Kelp” received a rating of 3. Loya’s hot-glue sculpture of a person also received a 3.

All three will have works at the Wise County Youth Art Show over the weekend.

It was the fourth straight year for Boyd to be represented at the state contest. It was the second straight year for the school to have three students advance past the regional competition to get projects in front of state judges.

“[At state] judges give you a rating 1 to 4,” explained Boyd art teacher Robin Nobles. “If you get a rating of 4, your work gets judged for the gold seal pool. If you get a gold seal, that’s like winning state. If you get a 4 and get to be judged, that’s like reserve or second place at state.”

Nobles said it’s an honor just to get work to the contest and earn one of the top ratings.

The art teacher had her doubts that Angel would even have a project for the contest.

“He kept telling me, ‘I got this, and I have this under control,'” said Boyd art teacher Robin Nobles. “Every day I was, ‘Joaquin, where is your sculpture? I need to see it.'”

As the deadline approached, Angel was able to only get a foot of the animal completed in his original concept. He had to scrap it and start fresh.

“He cranked it out in a couple of days, and it turned out really good,” Nobles said.

Angel didn’t realize his project was among the top in the state initially.

“When we were going into the exhibit, it has a name card and a sticker on it, if you have a rating of 4. I saw it, but I didn’t know what it meant,” Angel said. “I was just excited to see my piece again. Then Mrs. Nobles told me.”

Wade’s unique piece did not make the return trip to Boyd. Instead, it’s now at the Cathedral of Junk in Austin. Wade donated her work to the art exhibit on her visit last weekend, and she received a picture Monday of her work on display.

Wade enjoyed the challenge of the project.

“There’s something peaceful about building something as opposed to drawing or painting something,” Wade said. “When you’re building something, you get to this point where I’m not going to even touch it anymore. It’s good. With painting, you’re always thinking I can fix this.”

Loya took on an unique challenge of building a sculpture out of hot glue. The project provided a few trials as she burned through between 300 and 400 glue sticks and broke a glue gun.

“I almost burned my house down. I almost electrocuted myself,” Loya said. “I burned my fingers. I missed school the day before to work on it.”

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