Emerging Young Artists

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

The emergence art contest is in its second year and is already gaining good traction. The theme this year was “My Place in the World.” The theme really inspired the youth of Heber to think of and express the interaction they have with the world we live in.

Last year there were 175 entries, and this year entries soared at 255. Angie Neuberger, president of Wasatch Parent Network for the high school, was thrilled with the increased submissions. There were a lot more entries from the upper grades. She shared, “We’re wanting it to be for everyone, but we really want it to be for those older kids to really kind of just showcase their art.” She feels that it is important to provide the youth of the valley with that opportunity.

Five judges gave their time and talents to look over every single entry. They had the difficult job of selecting winners in five visual arts categories in four age groups between grades K-12. The categories included: sculptured work, painting, drawing, photography, and graphic design. Judges selected three winners in each category for each age group and then chose seven top winners overall. The top winners were honored in a school board presentation April 21st.

What makes this contest a success? It is all about the community coming together in collaboration. Wasatch Parent Network, Wasatch School District, Wasatch Arts Council, and Heber Valley Life Magazine, all join forces to bring this to fruition. This year, Angie received an $800 grant from the Wasatch Arts Council that helped in providing prizes, advertising, and potentially cover the costs associated with framing the artwork for display in the school district board room.

Angie and the team enjoyed discovering how each of the artists’ expressed their place in the world through art. And, they look forward to continuing the opportunity for the youth of Wasatch County to grow into young artists. 

Overall Winners
Grade 9-12
Lacee Liles
Sailing Through Waters
Sailing Through Waters - Acrylic Paint

Lacee Liles, a Wasatch High 9th grader, started painting when she was eight, but looking at her work it would be easy to think she has been painting for much longer. Lacee’s interest in art piqued as she went to arts and crafts fairs around town as a child. She loved the look of different paintings and wanted to try her own hand at the craft. She humbly says, “I just started trying to paint from pictures and different things, and I guess I picked it up somehow.” With help from a few online videos she learned how to properly use her brushes and how to perfect different techniques. She explaines, “I kind of taught myself.” Lacee has taken a couple classes, but most of what she’s learned has been from experimenting with her medium of choice, acrylic paint, at home. Lacee’s purpose in creating art is simple: enjoyment. Art for Lacee is one of her favorite things to do. She squeezes it into her schedule whenever she can throughout her week.

Speaking of her painting, Lacee shares, “Just as a sailboat belongs on the water, I belong in the world.” She says that for both a sailboat and an individual, success comes by knowing where to go, how to get there, and by preparing for problems that may arise. She also acknowledges the need for help from others on our journey. Lacee’s no stranger to this idea; as the only painter in her family, Lacee was apprehensive about entering the contest.  Lacee’s mom stepped in to help by providing Lacee with the encouragement she needed.  Lacee shares, “I wasn’t going to enter, and my mom kept telling me to do it, so, then I finally just decided to enter.”

Lacee has lived in the Heber Valley her entire life. Her favorite thing about the valley is the pretty scenery. Her hopes for the future: “I just hope that people enjoy what I paint. I hope to be able to paint like a professional.” Lacee dreams of making painting her career; having already sold four paintings, she’s off to a really great start.

Overall Winners
Grade 9-12
Keeley Shae Tuttle
Blissful Morning
Blissful Morning - Water Color

There is no doubt about it: Keeley loves art! Creativity has always been an important part of her life. “Honestly, I think I’ve been making art ever since I’ve been alive. I’ve always loved drawing, and coloring, and painting ever since I was little,” she shares.

As a senior, Keeley has taken as many of the art classes as she has had time for. This includes two drawing classes, painting, pottery, and jewelry. It was her painting class that inspired this watercolor piece. While she does enjoy the layering that she can do with watercolors, watercolors aren’t her favorite medium. She actually likes painting with acrylics or drawing more. However, for Keeley, it’s less about the medium and more about what creating does for her. “For me, I’m able to zone into a project and it’s just very relaxing for me. It’s just something I can do with my free time and something I can feel proud of,” Keeley explaines.

About her piece, Keeley shares, “I love the feeling that my picture evokes. It has a peaceful and calming effect for me. I think the contrast of colors in the rocks gives it a dramatic effect.” She appreciates the wonderful color pallets that nature offers her. Whether she is camping or boating, she feels constantly inspired by her time spent in nature.

Keeley is headed to Dixie State University this fall. She’s unsure of what she wants to study, but she really wants art to be a part of her future. She never really knew if she could make it as an artist, but with encouragement from both her mom and her art teacher, she’s gaining confidence and recognizing the talent she has. In Keeley’s behalf, her art teacher entered another one of her paintings in a separate contest — and she won. Keeley’s mom was the one who pushed her to enter the Emergence contest.  Keeley confides, “I love art so much and it’s such an enjoyable thing for me. So, to have a career that would be related in art would be amazing.”

Overall Winners
Grade 9-12
Avery Springer
Growth - Sculpture

When Avery was given the school assignment of sculpting her face, she really had no idea where the project would take her. With a love for nature and incorporating it into her artwork, she was inspired to add leaves to the face. The product for her was a little unexpected. It wasn’t until she was finished that she realized the significance and meaning. For Avery, the act of creating and finishing the sculpture came to represent the growth and potential in her life.

Avery shares, “Nature and humankind have always been seen separately. As I’ve grown up, I’ve continuously realized how much of an impact nature has on my life. For this piece, I decided to combine nature and humankind into one, while also representing growth throughout my life.”

Avery was able to create this piece in her high school pottery class. She loves the freedom her teacher, Ms. Crestman, gives her students and says of her teacher, “She is open to anything that anyone does. Any idea that anyone has, she says, ‘Yeah, go for it!’” Ms. Crestman has really influenced Avery by having no limits. 

Art is therapeutic for Avery and helps her cope with everyday life. She’s been creating her whole life and loves the effect it has on her. She says, “Creating art kind of takes my mind off of things. If things are going crazy in my life, it’s something that I can focus on — just that one thing that I know I can focus on. And I like the fact that I can control what I create and create things that aren’t necessarily normal.”

Besides art, Avery enjoys time with friends and playing music. She loves playing the guitar and drums and time spent outside hiking. Her feelings about living in the Heber Valley have changed over time. She shares, “I feel like growing up I was frustrated growing up in a small town because I thought that I was missing out on experiences, but the more I grow up, the more I realize how grateful I am living here […].” The kindness of the people and the beauty of the seasons are what makes her grateful to call Heber Valley home.

Overall Winners
Grade K-8

Congratulations Top Winners

Grades K-2

Scupltured work

1st     |  Olivia Osguthorpe

2nd    |  Nellie Brown

3rd    |  Edie Mae Cucchiarelli

3rd    |  Aizley Smith


1st     |  Juliette Brown

2nd     |  Amelia Hagen

3rd    |  Claire Hagan


1st     |  Rosalie Simons

2nd    |  Evelyn Simons

3rd    |  Oaklyn Holm

Grades 3-5

Sculptured work

1st     |  Makenzie Newman

2nd    |  Blakely Puett

3rd    |  Naomi Adams


1st     |  Duncan Russell

2nd    |  Audrey Hellman

3rd    |  Jack Cummings


1st     |  Evelyn Moulton

2nd     |  Kahiau Kitashima

3rd    |  Connor Moore

Graphic Design

1st     |  Lily Parker

1st     |  Callum Frame


1st     |  Mia Isabella Flores

2nd    |  Bracken Holm

3rd    |  William Hansen

Grades 6-8

Sculptured work

1st     |  Zadie Mitchell

2rd    |  Reese Phillips

3rd    |  Crystal Luo


1st     |  Brooklyn Newman

2rd    |  Savannah Tiedemann

3rd    |  Emmitt Crane

3rd    |  Adilee Meuzelaar

Graphic Design

1st     |  Ade Lewis

2rd    |  Preslie Wilson

3rd    |  Lillian Grotegut

3rd    |  Carson Palmer


1st     |  Irie Gremier

2rd    |  Brooke Sorenson

3rd    |  Miles Lange

3rd    |  Paige Henderson

Grades 9-12

Sculptured work

1st     |  Avery Springer

2rd    |  Lynzi Hallet

3rd    |  Aliya Benson


1st     |  Asha Chappell

2rd    |  Paige Smith

3rd    |  Ava Boyd


1st     |  Lacee Liles

2rd    |  Keeley Shae Tuttle

3rd    |  Mesa Carroll


1st     |  Molly Baird

2rd    |  Siclaly Cruz

3rd    |  Kami Clyde

Thank You to our Judges

Liz Sprackland     

Summer Luster     

Sarah Severson

Jill Kessler

Melissa Giles

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