‘It feels amazing to be recognized’: Oakton students featured in Skyway Juried Art Exhibition

Oakton student Megan Africk, Wilmette, recognized with the Excellence Award

Experience local artistic talent at the Skyway Juried Art Exhibition at Oakton College. Running until April 30, the annual event gathers talents from eight community colleges, promising a display of the finest works.

More than 200 submissions — including 25 from Oakton — were reviewed by the Skyway jury made up of esteemed artists who selected the best of the best. Among the honorees is Oakton’s Megan Africk, Wilmette, who will receive an Excellence award for her ceramic sculpture “Gray Wolf.”

The “Gray Wolf” by Megan Africk is one of the 58 artworks created by community college students that can be viewed at the exhibition. Courtesy of Oakton College

“I am very excited,” said Africk, “ This is my first art award, and it feels amazing to be recognized for something I enjoy and am proud of.”

Africk, a New Trier Township High School graduate, fell in love with art at a very young age, but once she discovered ceramics, she knew it was her medium. She enjoys creating sculptures of show characters and animals. For her winning piece, she was inspired by a positive depiction of Big Bad Wolf in a Dungeons & Dragons show. By creating the “Gray Wolf,” she wanted to show a softer side of the animal that many fear. In addition to Africk, six Oakton students are featured in the exhibition:

Jessica Cieply, Niles, Willows Academy

Maria de Lourdes Frantsve, Park Ridge, CETIS 87 High School (Mexico)

Aidan Grubbs, Des Plaines, Maine West High School

Callie Mendoza, Des Plaines, Elmwood Park High School

Robert Michlove, Evanston, Notre Dame College Prep

Grace I Park, Skokie, Dong Duk High School (South Korea)

Along with Oakton students, the annual exhibition includes students from McHenry County College, Prairie State College, College of Lake County, Waubonsee Community College, Elgin Community College, Moraine Valley Community College and Morton College. The exhibition’s location changes every year, and each college submits the best of its student artwork, including painting, ceramics, drawing, sculpture, graphic design, photography, video content and other media.

The exhibit runs through April 30, at Oakton College Koehnline Museum of Art, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday — Friday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

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