AR students dominate the annual Dad Vail Regatta poster contest

Several students from Archbishop Ryan received recognition for their artwork in this year’s competition.

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Archbishop Ryan High School has always proven itself as an elite school in the Northeast, but when it comes to the art program, Ryan proves to be head and shoulders above the competition. This is evident when the art students at Ryan compete in the annual Dad Vail Regatta poster contest.

This contest asks for Philadelphia high school students to produce a painting that depicts the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta rowing competition. In recent years, Ryan students have been dominating the contest.

The contest boasts 10 total winners: Grand Prize, 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and 6 Honorable Mention prizes. Last year, Archbishop Ryan owned seven of the ten total winners. This year, they boasted six of the ten total winners.

Additionally, Ryan has had the grand prize winner the past two years. Last year’s grand prize winner, Alyssa Sliwa, a senior at Archbishop Ryan followed up last year’s success with a first runner up finish this year. Sliwa stressed how this painting was no easy task.

“I started the painting around Christmas and it took me almost a full three months of class time to finish,” said Sliwa.

However, this hard work pays off as the winners receive cash prizes as well as a trip to meet the mayor at the Dad Vail Regatta competition. These cash prizes include: $500 for Grand Prize, $250 for first runner up, 150 for second runner up, $100 for third runner up and $50 each for the six honorable mentions.

Taking home the $500 grand prize this year is Archbishop Ryan’s Mary Xu. Xu is a senior at Ryan and this was her first year of being in the art program. She is also new to America as she is an exchange student from Asia.

“Mary amazes me every day in art class and when she completed her painting, it was hard to take your eyes off of her beautiful artwork,” said Dan Jurgelewicz, an honorable mention winner who is also a senior at Ryan.

All of these students give an immense amount of gratitude to their teacher and mentor, Mrs. Kroemer.

“Mrs. Kroemer has such a great sense of how to be a great artist and makes everyday a joy to be in the classroom,” said Sliwa.

Kroemer is a long time teacher at Ryan and she is proving to be an amazing teacher as her students continue to shine in the artistic spotlight.

“It is so fun to teach these kids and they make my job so much easier,” said Kroemer.