Jaytta Sherman, a student in 11th grade at the Winona Area Learning Center whose art will be featured on one of the passes for the Frozen River Film Festival, works on a drawing.

Frozen River honors student artist



Jaytta Sherman, a student in 11th grade at the Winona Area Learning Center (WALC), typically enjoys including sunflowers in her art. As one of the winners of the contest held by the Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF) to discover local art to include on this season’s festival passes, she focused on the idea of film in her creative work.

Her winning art evokes a person sitting in the Winona 7 movie theater and watching a film, and it will be displayed on the festival’s student pass, which is provided for free for students in Winona who are interested in attending the festival and have not yet graduated from college.

Sherman said she was very excited, surprised and honored when she found out that she was a winner of the contest. She added that she is looking forward to seeing her art on the passes at the FRFF.

Matthew Wagner, an art and work-based learning teacher at the WALC, noted that he felt Sherman’s win was very exciting for both her and the learning center.

Sherman enjoys drawing, using oil pastels and shading in her art classes. She is fond of free drawing, and this interest of hers predates her time in art classes at school, she shared.

Sunflowers are her favorite flower, and the majority of her art centers on them, she stated. She recently made a wood-burning plaque piece that shows two sunflowers, and she has used oil pastels and paint to depict them previously.

Last year, she contributed a sunflower-related piece to an ALC-only art show that is held at the public library each April, and she said she would probably contribute a piece again this year to the show, which will mark its third year in 2020.

She shared that once she began taking art classes in school, she recognized that she enjoys creating art on a regular basis.

Sherman hopes to become employed in the nursing field after high school. She has regularly helped older individuals and might aim to work in a care-facility environment, she noted.

Sherman said she would tell those nearing high school age with the opportunity to take art classes at school to try their hardest and pursue art if they know they are passionate about it.

FRFF Assistant Director Daniel Munson explained that the contest to find local art for the festival’s 2020 passes represents the second year that such a contest has been held. “Buying a pass to the festival not only gets you access to a lot of great films and conversations with filmmakers from around the world, but it also supports and brings awareness to local artists by wearing their art,” Munson said.

This year, two members of the festival’s board of directors served as judges for the contest.

“It was not an easy decision for them and as the field was narrowed down, they went back and forth on a number of different, great submissions,” Munson stated.

Submission guidelines for the contest directed artists to submit art that was influenced by themes of Winona, winter or film.

Last year, festival organizers notified all the art teachers in Winona about the contest, and Munson hopes to do the same this year, he noted.

More information about the Frozen River Film Festival is available at https://www.frff.org/.


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