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Granite School District honors creative students at ‘Art Night Live’

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SALT LAKE CITY -- High school athletes get a lot of attention, so do drama students who stage plays and musicals. But, the best art students usually get little or no accolades, which is why the Granite Education Foundation stages "Art Night Live."

"It's super fun, there's a lot of energy here, a lot of creative juices flowing, and the kids are very inspiring,” Volunteer Holly Nelson said of the event.

The event is in its 13th year, and it is a competition among the top artists from eight high schools in Granite School District. Sixty students nominated by their art teachers have four hours to create a work of art.

The students work in several mediums, such as pottery, oil, pen and ink, and watercolors.

"I’m doing a mixed media piece for Art Night Live,” said Cyan Larson, a student from Skyline.

The event includes cash prizes that total $1,200, but the kids say that's not why they're taking part.

"It's a nice experience, you meet a lot of new people, a lot of people like you, that you don't normally meet in school time, so it's nice to meet other people while you're doing it,” said Kevin Morales, an artist who attends Granger High School.

The students try capturing emotions in their work, like a piece by Granger High School’s Nawres al Saud.

"I really like pictures of old women, so I started drawing them, painting them, and so that's why I chose that one, and she's actually smiling, even though her face looks so tired, and I feel like it explains her story, her life,” Al Saud said.

There’s a lot of talent in the room, and most of the students don't want to toot their own horns.

"It's just really a great way for the visual arts to get recognized,” Nelson said. “We see a lot with high school sports, we see a lot with drama and theater and the school plays and all that, those are, you know, pretty big, but it's the visual arts that sometimes get a little overlooked."

Chances are good that these young artists will go on to bigger and better things, and events like this one will help get them there. For more information about the event and a list of winners, click here.