Our mission statement

The Illinois High School Art Exhibition believes the visual arts are a powerful force in culture and education, enriching the lives and endeavors of humankind.  Our mission is to advance art education for young people by providing art exhibition and education opportunities that celebrate students' artistic achievement, promote mastery and ingenuity in learning, and facilitate post-secondary opportunities.

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Our Story

We enhance the creative educational landscape, giving student and teacher artists agency to succeed through 5 major missions:

 

  1. Amplify Student Artwork: Expose and celebrate the creativity, beauty, expression, and technical mastery of student artists on a platform worthy of their efforts. We also seek opportunities to inspire further growth and excitement through creation in addition to the annual $50,000 in cash and prizes awarded to students.

  2. The Art of Recruitment: We work with over 150 high schools and 40+ universities across the country connecting nearly 1,000 seniors to over $124 million in tuition scholarship offers, and underclassmen to over $500,000 in Early College Scholarships in just 5 years. This includes many students who were not previously college bound.

  3. Advocacy Through Exhibitions: Beyond recognizing and rewarding the top art students from schools across IL, we go beyond and advocates for the importance of the art programs that enhance student lives through workshops and presentations.

  4. Building Creative Capital: We forge connections to the industry and outside organizations in order to support meaningful student learning opportunities and internships that promote creative futures.

  5. Teacher/Curricular Inspiration: Whether it be through our Educator Exhibition or innovative program support, we invigorate teachers and practice across IL while supporting their programs and curriculum.

 In 2018, the IHSAE facilitated over $43 Million in tuition scholarship offers to 312 seniors by forging bridges that had not existed for student artists. This was an 860% increase from our first-year totals of $5 million. Many of these recipients include students and parents who did not think college was a possibility for their family situation. Started and managed by 2 teachers in 2013, the IHSAE has grown to include over 13 teacher directors and 20+ regular volunteers implementing programming that has impacted 150 high school visual art programs, and over 1,200 students annually. Demographics bridge city, suburban, public, and private schools across the Chicagoland area and all of Illinois.

 Actualizing our 5-year plan in 3 with minimal supports and teachers donating much of their time to our work, we have since become uniquely positioned and staffed to support educational programming and creation from a multifaceted approach. The IHSAE continues to grow, and we now support teachers with innovative projects, offer workshops for teachers, arts organization leaders, and national postsecondary institutions, provide venues for teacher creation and curation, host advocacy exhibitions for policy leaders, developed various art-making competitions, are working to generate community art projects, and are committed to supporting the visual arts in new and innovative ways. 

IHSAE Board of Directors

  Executive Director  John Zilewicz Niles West HS

Executive Director
John Zilewicz
Niles West HS

  Assistant Director  Chris Sykora Deerfield HS

Assistant Director
Chris Sykora
Deerfield HS

  Finance Director  Nick Hostert Palatine HS

Finance Director
Nick Hostert
Palatine HS

  Communications Coordinator  Jonathan Reiman Kenwood Academy HS

Communications Coordinator
Jonathan Reiman
Kenwood Academy HS

  Senior Exhibition Coordinator  Kevin Shifley Lakes Comm. HS

Senior Exhibition Coordinator
Kevin Shifley
Lakes Comm. HS

  General Exhibition Coordinator  Jackie Wargo Homewood-Flossmoor HS

General Exhibition Coordinator
Jackie Wargo
Homewood-Flossmoor HS

  Events Coordinator  Matthew Winkelman Lake Zurich HS

Events Coordinator
Matthew Winkelman
Lake Zurich HS

  Portfolio Coordinator  Joshua Hoering Downers Grove North HS

Portfolio Coordinator
Joshua Hoering
Downers Grove North HS

Committee Members

  Website & Social Media Specialist  Luke Jenner - JB Conant HS

Website & Social Media Specialist
Luke Jenner - JB Conant HS

  Assistant Graphic Designer  Deanna Sortino - Niles West HS

Assistant Graphic Designer
Deanna Sortino - Niles West HS

 

Senior Scholarship Exhibition Team Members

  Installation Coordinator  Dan Lobraco - Lake Park HS

Installation Coordinator
Dan Lobraco - Lake Park HS

  Senior Exhibition Team  Devan Picard - Walter Payton College Prep

Senior Exhibition Team
Devan Picard - Walter Payton College Prep

  Senior Exhibition Team  Jonathan Pruc - Mundelein HS

Senior Exhibition Team
Jonathan Pruc - Mundelein HS

  Senior Exhibition Team  Marla Seibold - Evanston HS

Senior Exhibition Team
Marla Seibold - Evanston HS

  Senior Exhibition Team  Randy Sweitzer - Grayslake North HS

Senior Exhibition Team
Randy Sweitzer - Grayslake North HS

General Exhibition Team Members

  General Exhibition Assistant  Melissa Sauder - Homewood-Flossmoor HS

General Exhibition Assistant
Melissa Sauder - Homewood-Flossmoor HS

  Installation Coordinator  Greg Petecki - Homewood-FlossmoorHS

Installation Coordinator
Greg Petecki - Homewood-FlossmoorHS

  General Exhibition Awards  Coordinator Katherine O'Truk

General Exhibition Awards Coordinator
Katherine O'Truk

 
 

Contact us

communications@ihsae.org