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Popp receives top recognition by Kansas Art Education Association
Anna Popp 2021
Anna Popp, center, is a Senior at Great Bend High School and the recipient of the 2021 Harry Hard Memorial Scholarship awarded by the Kansas Arts Educators Association. She is pictured here with her art teachers from Great Bend High School, Sergio Ramirez and Jennifer Christiansen.

The Kansas Art Education Association (KAEA) recently awarded two 2021 Harry Hart Memorial Scholarships, one of which went to Anna Popp, senior at Great Bend High School. 

“This scholarship is very competitive,” said Sergio Ramirez, GBHS art instructor. “While the scholarship money is obviously beneficial, it’s a big honor to be one of the two students selected from across the state. We’re extremely proud of Anna’s talent and hard work.” 

Each year, art educators from across the state submit nominations for the annual Harry Hart Memorial Senior Scholarship, providing several portfolio pieces for review by a panel of judges. The other 2021 winner is Jennifer Montaque from Seaman High School in Topeka. Both students will receive a $500 scholarship to pursue higher education. 

“Anna is an incredibly thoughtful artist who plans her work out well,” said Jennifer Christiansen, GBHS art teacher and nominator for the KAEA award. “This is my first year with Anna. She had only taken drawing and painting previously and as a senior was encouraged to try 3D to broaden her skill base. In 3D and jewelry, she has excelled as a beginner. If you asked Anna, she would tell you she’s more skilled in drawing and painting, but given enough time, I believe Anna would be excel in any media she chose to explore.”

Popp plans to attend The University of Kansas next fall, majoring in graphic design, and planning to continue creating art as a hobby in her free time. 

“I am inspired by about anything in the world,” said Popp. “Often, I will just see something on the street that allows me to wonder how I can create an art piece from it. My teachers (Mr. Ramirez and Mrs. Christiansen) and other artists inspire me by giving me a longing to create something as amazing as what they have created.”

Popp submitted several pieces to the KAEA review committee. Night Light is a 17x23-inch charcoal self-portrait that has garnered attention from her instructors, community and now judges as the state level. 

More information about the KAEA Harry Hart Memorial Senior Scholarship can be found at Questions about the Great Bend High School Arts program can be directed to GBHS staff at the high school, 620-793-1500.