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Steeplechase Art Contest Showcases Top Local Young Artists

Story by Carrie Beth Wallace

Images courtesy of Katherine Turner

The Steeplechase Art Contest is a little-known tradition that accompanies the annual race for the arts every year. For several months leading up to Steeplechase, race volunteers work with art departments at local schools to compile artwork for an exhibit at the Columbus Museum. The work is then judged by local artists, and winners are honored in a reception that will take place later this week.

Katherine Turner is Steeplechase's chair for the Art Contest this year. We corresponded with Turner to get the details on this year's contest and a sneak peek at the winners.

Q: The winner is a 6th grader?! Who is it and which school are they from? ​

Yes! Gigi Waldrep, a 6th grader at Brookstone, won Best In Show which is the highest award given. 

Q: What was the biggest surprise this year with entries? 

A: ​I was surprised at not only the amount of entries this year, but also at the level of talent! We are always blown away by the creativity and skill amongst the older kids, and of course that did not disappoint this year. But equally impressive was the talent among the younger participants. 

Q: How many schools participated? ​

A: This year there were over 15 participating schools from the Columbus area. 

Q: How long will the show run? 

A: ​All of the art will be up through this week. The art that won awards will be up through the Awards Ceremony and Reception, which takes place Wednesday, October 23. 

Q: What's your favorite thing about the Student Art Show? ​

A: I love getting to see the students interpretations of Steeplechase. To better explain, the students can really create anything that they feel relates to Steeplechase. This can be anything from dogs, horses, hats and more. And while all of the art is based on the same event or day, it is all so very different from student to student. 

Q: How do you feel that this Student Art Show impacts our local students in the community? ​

A: I think it impacts them by giving them the opportunity to learn about a special tradition and wonderful local event that they may not already have experienced in some form. Some people may not regularly attend Steeplechase or be interested in horse racing. But this contest gives these kids a chance to form a creative idea of what Steeplechase is - whether it be the competition, the beauty of the animals involved or maybe the fun of seeing all of the attire and hats worn on race day.  

Q: What would you like for people to know about this show?

A: This art contest is such a great way to get children involved in Steeplechase and they way it benefits the Arts in Columbus. And it's a great way for the young people in the community to participate in their own way. I encourage all parents and art instructors in the Columbus area to make sure their young artists participate! ◼︎


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