The West Bend Public Schools Foundation Gala and Auction will feature a painting by Haley Ehn
By Lily Mottet, Current Staff
It was a shock for West Bend West senior Haley Ehn to learn she was selected as a featured artist for an art gala.
The West Bend Public Schools Foundation Gala and Auction will be held at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at the West Bend Mutual Prairie Center. Ehn is the second WBHS student to be chosen as the featured artist since WBPSF instituted the Imagine Student Artwork Series last year. Ehn’s artwork is showcased on the WBPSF Gala and Auction invitation and will be auctioned off during the event.
Any West Bend art student can submit a piece of artwork to be considered for the gala invitation. The piece must pertain to the annual theme of “Imagine.”
Ehn took that theme as inspiration and an opportunity for her to experiment with her artwork.
“I wanted to combine different things and kind of make it look almost magical,” Ehn said. “I really wanted to do bubbles because I’ve wanted to draw that for a while. Then, I just wanted to combine different things that don’t really go together like leaves and the woman blowing bubbles with the sea animals inside of them.”
Although Ehn submitted her artwork in August, it was not until the beginning of the school year that she learned of her selection.
“I didn’t know about it until I walked in on the first day of school, and Mrs. Prahl told me to look on the board,” Ehn said. “I saw it and I was almost surprised because I’ve never won anything like this before. I’m really excited for it.”
This is the first time Ehn has been chosen in an artwork contest and been publicly recognized for it.
“I’ve always done, when I was younger, newspaper drawing contests,” Ehn said. “I don’t think I’ve ever done anything as big or serious as this.”
Currently, Ehn is taking the AP Studio 2D Portfolio class taught by Deborah Prahl. Ehn’s work ethic and creativity does not go unnoticed by her teacher.
“Haley’s an amazing artist to work with,” Prahl said. “She is, besides a mature and respectful, wonderful young woman to work with, very creative and she allows herself to experiment and try new things. She’s not afraid to stretch herself with her art.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever done anything as big or serious as this.”
– Haley Ehn
Although Ehn’s favorite mediums to work with are graphite and colored pencils, she has been experimenting with painting more often. Ehn also prefers to use realism when creating her pieces.
Fellow classmates have also recognized Ehn’s artistic talent and originality.
“Her work is just beautiful” said Clara Lemanski, a West senior. “When you walk into an AP art class, you expect to see realistic artwork. But Haley takes it to a whole new level with hyper-realism or she will take it in a completely different direction.”
Ehn became serious about her passion for art in the eighth grade and has continued to develop her skills since then. She plans to continue to create art in college and in her future career. She has been looking into biomedical illustrations, which combines her two favorite subjects.
“She has just improved so much since her freshman year,” Prahl said. “She just does wonderful things.”
The WBPSF created the gala and auction to raise funds for the art, technology and athletic departments in the West Bend School District. Tickets are open to the public for those who wish to participate. The WBPSF provides hors d’oeuvres and dinner to all those attending. Details and tickets purchasing can be found on the WBPSF webpage.