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Ralston High School art students compete in first ever Trailblazer Conference Art Show

Ralston High School art students compete in first ever Trailblazer Conference Art Show

Ralston High School was the host school of the inaugural Trailblazer Conference Art Show.

RHS art teachers Sarah Hall and Calvin Banks had been working with students all year long on projects in several different mediums.

Students spent hours outside of the classroom tweaking their artwork to near perfection for the community to see. Hall said a student could have put a minimum of 40 hours into an art piece.

Hall said to pick the 15 pieces for the show, the decision process came down to two factors, the first being technical ability.

“Then we look for, does the artwork also have some sort of emotional connection to it? Does it tell a story? Does it have a narrative and a piece has both of those things, or is it a very strong technical piece or a very strong emotional piece?” Hall said.

Each school in the conference picked 15 student art pieces from throughout the whole year.

“We were still a little bit nervous to host an actual in-person art show, so we did it all virtually,” Hall said. “It’s just super exciting because it’s our first go in this conference art show and it’s awesome to see what other districts our size are doing in their art department.”

Hall admits there were some technical bugs they had to work through but that it all worked out in the end.

A Google form for all the school districts was set up to send in their 15 pieces of chosen artwork.

After the art was compiled, Hall and Banks created a PowerPoint that had the name of the student artist, name of the school, name of the artwork, the media it was done in, and the dimensions of the piece.

The copy of the artwork with all the identifying information was sent out to all the different districts where they could share on their websites or social media.

An artwork’s identifying information was removed to maintain anonymity and was then sent to three judges.

There were several categories, such as pencil drawing, water color and acrylic.

The three judges did their initial scoring — where they chose first, second and third in each art category — and then a best of show and a best of show runner up.

On April 20, the judges gathered via Zoom to further discuss the artwork and come to a consensus on everything.

“It was a complete blind judging,” Hall said. “The judges didn’t know which school artwork came from; they didn’t know which student it was from.”

She said it great that art students are getting more recognition as a result of this conference art show.

“A lot of times our students who we put into these competitions, they’re working hours outside of the classroom, drawing at home, practicing at home; it’s just as much of a dedicated craft as being an athlete,” Hall said.

She said the competition factor has been motivating for her art students.

“We see how we rank amongst other artists in different districts and it pushes some of our students even harder,” Hall said. “It’s just a great way to kind of see what other kids are doing and then to just keep raising the bar.”

The final rankings for the inaugural Trailblazer Art Show are broken down into first, second and third places for each category. A student’s name, school they attend, material used, artwork sized and name of the piece are included with the rankings.

Final Trailblazer Art Show Rankings

Pencil Drawing

First — Renee Williams, Nebraska City


Internal Shell

10 x 14 inch

Second — Amella Field, Plattsmouth



10 x 12 inch

Third — Xavier Walker, Springfield Platteview


The City

12 x 16 inch

Black and White

First — Elena Lindberg, Plattsmouth



18 x 24 inch

Second — Sophia Werbein, Plattsmouth



18 x 24 inch

Third — Anna Haubensak, Springfield Platteview


Ink Dog

11.5 x 15.5 inch

Colored Drawing

First — Sophia Werbein, Plattsmouth

Colored Pencil


10 x 12 inch

Second — Elena Lindberg, Plattsmouth



10 x 12 inch

Third — Amella Field, Plattsmouth

Oil Pastel


12 x 18 inch


First — Isaac Hernández Alfaro, Ralston

Watercolor and Ink

Pancho Villa 2,000

18 x 24 inch

Second — Desi Reeves, Ralston

Ink and Watercolor


24 x 18 inch

Third — Alyssa Moore, Ralston

Ink and Watercolor

Gothic American

24 x 18 inch


First — Kathy Hoang, Ralston


Sushi Rolls

16 x 20 inch

Second — Isaac Hernández Alfaro, Ralston

Acrylic on Paper

Ocelot Pilli

24 x 18 inch

Third — Sophia Werbein, Plattsmouth


Long Day

16 x 18 inch

Mixed Media/Collage

1st —RyAnne Carroll ,Plattsmouth

Mixed Media


16 x 22in.

Second — Ainsley Karlin, Beatrice

Mixed Media Collage


12 x 9in.

Third — Marcus Bartman, Nebraska City

Toilet Paper, Glue, Water, Paint

Sound Man

18 x 24in.


First — Michiyo Jett, Springfield Platteview


Paper Sculpture

12 x 12in.

Second — Austin Roy, Ralston

Cardboard, Wire, Yarn, Acrylic

Universal Explosion

20 x 16in.

Third — N/A


First — Rebekah Trumble, Springfield Platteview



14 x 14in.

Second — Carlie Beaman, Springfield Platteview



14 x 14in.

Third — Brigitte Barragan-Soltero , Ralston

Relief Print and Colored Pencil


3 x 4in. (x3)


First — Sonia Romero-Benavides ,Beatrice



12 x 15in.

Second — Katie Dia, Nebraska City



5 x 12in.

Third — Grant Reiff, Beatrice


Industrial Dream

3 x 10in.

Photography/Digital Art/Graphics

First — Kathy Hoang, Ralston

Digital Media


12 x 16in.

Second — Daniel Urban, Beatrice High School


The March

9 x 4in.

Third — Megan Sedlacek, Beatrice


Musical Vibes

4 x 6in.


First — Roza Otto, Wahoo

Scratch Board


11 x 9in.

Second — Mia Yochum, Ralston

Graphite and Colored Pencil


6 x 6in (x2)

Third — N/A

Best of Show (overall top artwork)

Kathy Hoang , Ralston

Digital Media


12 x 16in.

Best of Show Honorable Mentions (top overall artwork)

Kathy Hoang, Ralston


Sushi Rolls

16 x 20n.

Amella Field, Plattsmouth



10 x 12in.

Outstanding Artist (one from each school)

Beatrice: Sonia Romero-Benavides

Wahoo: Sophia Brennan

Plattsmouth: Sophia Werbein

Springfield Platteview: Xavier Walker

Nebraska City: Renee Williams

Ralston: Kathy Hoang

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