By Jesse Bertel

Artists from seven local high schools will experience what it is like to show their work in a professional gallery during the Young Artists’ Showcase at the Yavapai College (YC) Prescott Art Gallery, 1100 E. Sheldon St.

The Young Artists’ Showcase, a Juried High School Exhibition, runs from March 10 to April 7, 2023. The YC Prescott Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, during the 4th Friday Artwalk. The event is free and open to the public. Award winners will be announced at 6 p.m.

The featured artists come from seven area high schools, including Prescott, Bradshaw Mountain, Chino Valley, Pinnacle, Mayer and Camp Verde high schools, as well as the Orme School.

Artist and YC instructor Rita Toikka chose 122 artworks from among nearly 300 submissions.

“The main purpose is to encourage young artists so they can have an experience showing in a professional gallery, so they understand what the submission process is like, and then what it means to have your art, gallery ready to hang and to deliver on a time schedule,” said Toikka. “It kind of teaches them a little bit about the business of art and what to expect as a professional artist and how they should behave in that kind of setting.

“It also gives three scholarships for a class at Yavapai because we offer an associate of fine arts as well as a degree in graphic design. So, hopefully encourage them to to take some classes at Yavapai College.”

Winners of three awards — Best of Show 2D, Best of Show 3D, and the Gallery Award — will receive a scholarship worth $357, enough to pay for one art class at Yavapai College.

Toikka used a variety of criteria for choosing works to be in this exhibition, including technique, experimentation and communicating a personal narrative.

“It’s not just technical skill, but the ability to communicate ideas and change the perspective of the viewer and kind of connect with others through your work,” Toikka said. “I prefer work with personal narrative, but I understand a lot of the assignments probably didn’t allow for that.

“There were some that were just standouts. I mean, conceptually they were they showed a very mature mind. They were very expressive, they had a good personal narrative, they had a good sense of what they were attempting to accomplish and they actually accomplished it very well with high skill.”

For more information contact Tim Hull, YC Prescott Art Gallery Manager, at (928) 776-2031, or

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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