Five Shawnee Mission students receive 2020 Shooting Stars awards, celebrated virtually

Bryn Montry, a Shawnee Mission East senior, won first place in 3D visual art. His piece "Faulty Mechanics," a ceramic sculpture, was included in his selection for the Shooting Stars exhibition. Photo courtesy of Sarah VanLanduyt.

The Arts Council of Johnson County Tuesday morning announced its 2020 Shooting Stars scholarship recipients, five of whom are Shawnee Mission seniors.

Nina Kulikov, a Shawnee Mission South senior, won first place for 2D visual art with her piece entitled “Sushi.” Photo courtesy of Sarah VanLanduyt.

Each year, in addition to choosing scholarship recipients, ACJC hosts a Shooting Stars Gala for its 100 high school senior nominees. The 23rd annual gala — which can be found on YouTube and Facebook — was held virtually this year due to COVID-19.

“The virtual celebration wasn’t what we had originally planned, but in a time when we are apart we couldn’t think of a better opportunity to use the arts to come together,” ACJC Executive Director Sarah VanLanduyt said in a press release.

The 18 scholarship recipients are awarded for their excellence in literary, performing and visual arts. Arts teachers from schools across the county are able to nominate two students per year, and finalists audition or submit a portfolio for review by independent judges.

First place Shooting Stars receive a $1,400 scholarship, and second place Stars receive a $700 scholarship. Below are the Shawnee Mission seniors who won:

  • Zach Dunly, Shawnee Mission Northwest, 2nd place, production and design (Jason Coats nominating teacher)
  • Vincent Hsiung, Shawnee Mission East, 1st place, strings (Adam Keda nominating teacher)
  • Bryn Montry, SM East, 1st place, 3D visual art (Jennifer Hensey nominating teacher)
  • Nina Kulikov, Shawnee Mission South, 1st place, 2D visual art (Jill Oliver nominating teacher)
  • Julie Edeal, Shawnee Mission West, 2nd place, voice classical (Derek Cross nominating teacher)