East Central College art students Madison Barbarick and Emily Knoppe will show their works in the 26th annual “Varsity Art” exhibit presented at Art Saint Louis.

Barbarick, Washington, and Knoppe, New Haven, were selected by the ECC Art Department to show at the “Varsity Art XXV,” a multi-media invitational visual art exhibition, from March 4-31.

They have been invited to show their pieces alongside 42 other regional artists at the multi-media exhibition. The artists all are undergrad and grad level art students representing 23 St. Louis regional colleges and universities from Missouri and Illinois.

This year’s exhibit presents works in a variety of media, including ceramics, drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video. The themes represented in this show are representative of contemporary art and trends.

Madison Barbarick

To create “Beauty in Nature” Barbarick applied oil paint as a base and used colored pencil on top.

“I wanted to create a piece that embodied self-love and acceptance,” she said. “I, and most females, struggle with their body image.

“It hurts to see society not represent every body type,” Barbaric added. “We are a part of nature and we deserve to accept ourselves because everything in nature is perfect.”

She further added she is grateful for being selected to exhibit in “Varsity Art XXV.”

“I have been working hard on my art and being selected is very rewarding,” Barbarick commented. “It gives me confidence that I am on the right path.

Barbarick is working toward an Associates in Fine Art degree at ECC and after graduating this May, she plans on transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute.

Emily Knoppe

Knoppe’s piece, titled “Aerial Witchcraft,” is watercolor and acrylic on illustration board.

“What inspired this piece was a connection I made to witches flying on broomsticks, and aerial skateboard tricks,” Knoppe said.  “The image popped up in my head of a witch riding her broom like a skateboard, and I just had to create it.”

She drew inspiration from St. Louis architecture.

“The buildings behind the witch are, loosely, based off buildings in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis, to keep her connected to our area in some way,” Knoppe noted. “This piece was a great opportunity for me to flex my creative muscles and make something fun.”

She considers selection to the Art Saint Louis exhibition an honor.

“I’m thankful to my instructors for having faith in me and allowing me to be a part of this,” Knoppe said.

She is working toward an Associate of Fine Arts at ECC, then she will transfer to Webster University to get a Bachelor’s degree in Animation.


This annual exhibit is a collaboration between Art Saint Louis and the participating collegiate institutions, their art faculty, and students.

Art Saint Louis’ Artistic Director works closely with art Professors and faculty at the area’s colleges and universities, inviting the professors to select two outstanding art students to represent their art department and institution in its annual show.

Learn more about the annual exhibit at http://www.artstlouis.org or on its Facebook page.

East Central College art students Madison Barbarick, left, of Washington, and Emily Knoppe, New Haven, have been selected to show their work in the “Varsity Art” exhibit presented at Art Saint Louis, March 4-31. 
Submitted photo

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