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2023 Dakota Student Art Exhibition Winners

The 28th annual Dakota Student Art Exhibition was hosted by the Dacotah Prairie Museum (DPM) April 19 and 20 at the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center (ARCC).

Middle and high school students from 17 North and South Dakota schools showcased their student artwork at the ARCC April 19-20. This annual arts program is held over two days; students attend a gallery session and three art workshops presented by professional artists. In its 28 years it has provided constructive and supportive feedback to young artists while also letting them experience interactive art workshops with a variety of mediums. This year 120 students participated; over 4,000 students have attended since its inception in 1996. The student art show was the vision of John Sieh, an avid supporter of the arts in rural settings. It was created to celebrate young artists and to encourage them to pursue a lifelong interest in the fine arts. His Granary Rural Cultural Center in rural Groton, S.D. hosted the event from 1996 until 2018. The DPM and staff have supported this event since the beginning and continue to promote Sieh’s legacy of providing opportunities to young artists in our region.

This year’s judges, Kyla Fesler from Aberdeen, SD and Linda Roesch from Jamestown, ND, awarded prizes in 6 media categories, winners are as follows:
Quincy Oliver, Ipswich, SD (Painting), Rachel Ziegeldorf, Mitchell, SD (Drawing), Damani Casillas, Mt. Vernon, SD (Printmaking), Sofia Torgersen, Mitchell, SD (Digital Media), Abby Lohman, Roncalli, Aberdeen, SD (2D Mixed Media), and Max Bruguier, Mitchell, SD (3D Mixed Media).

Best South Dakota Team: Mt. Vernon, SD, and Best North Dakota Team: Oakes, ND. Lora Schaunaman Rising Star in the Visual Arts Award: Laila Middleton, Ipswich, SD, for her charcoal drawing “Xenomorph.” New this year, Middle School Best in Show: Connie Reed, Simmons Middle School, Aberdeen, SD, for her painting “Better Times.”
The Best in Show winner, Noelle Rau, Selby, SD, received a trophy and award of $300 for her painting “City 1.”

This year’s event was supported by the Dacotah Prairie Museum Foundation and a community grant from 3M Corporation.

The Dacotah Prairie Museum celebrates over 50 years as Brown County’s premier history museum. The Museum is housed in the historic Northwestern Bank building built in 1889 on Aberdeen’s Main Street. Gallery & Museum Store Hours: Tues.-Fri. 10am-5pm and Sat. 11am-4pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays. Free admission, donations appreciated. Check out the latest exhibits and events at