Photo by Matt Schuldt
MUSICAL—Senior McKenzie Brandt’s award winning 3-D design “Instrumental Intention.”

Senior work takes top score in high school visual arts contest 
McKenzie Brandt’s 3-D sculpture earns AA division award

By Seth Benson

Through the madness of the South Dakota High School Boys and Girls State Basketball Tournament this past weekend, the South Dakota High School Activities Association Visual Arts Competition was going on just down the hallway.
Senior Kennie Brandt participated in the 3-D portion of the event, and was named Best in Show, scoring 200 out of 210 possible points for her work “Instrumental Intention” in the juried show, the highest of any work on display.

Despite the award, Brandt was humble about the experience.

“Everyone was so deserving,” she said. “It was just an amazing show overall, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.”
Brandt got the idea for her award-winning project at the beginning of the year. 

“Our entire class was donated old violins and cellos from the WHS orchestra to create a work of art out of it,” Brandt said. “It took me six or seven weeks of class and lunch periods to finish.”

Brandt’s art teacher, Shoni Devitt, said she is very proud. 

“I have had the privilege of being Kennie’s 3-D, I, II and advanced art, art teacher,” Devitt said. “She has the amazing ability to work through the design cycle to formulate a design that is impressively grounded in the element and principles of design. Her execution is a solid representation of her knowledge and tenacity as an artist. She not only creates like an artist, but she thinks like one. She is the kind of learner that does not stop until a completeness of composition is attained, regardless of the frustrations that come with art making.”

Brandt said she is very thankful to Devitt for her guidance and support as she worked on the project.

“I am so glad I had her to push me on this piece,” Brandt said. “I wanted to throw it against the wall a few times, but she kept me going.”


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