Wausau Pilot & Review

Kamden Heckel’s award-winning artwork

Mosinee Elementary School student Kamden Heckel is the proud winner of Artsonia’s Artist of the Week contest, a voting competition held on Artsonia.com, the world’s largest collection of student art portfolios exhibiting over 90 million pieces of student art.

Heckel received more than 6 hundred online votes for his winning art, a mixed-media depiction of cherry blossoms in a vase titled, Yo-yo.

What Heckel enjoys most about art class is getting creative and experimenting with new mediums. “I really like to use my imagination,” Heckel said.

When asked how he felt when he found out he won Artist of the Week, Heckel said, “Very excited.”

Heckel’s teacher, Robert Tourdot has been teaching art for more than 16 years. Tourdot gets his students enthusiastic about art, by encouraging them to create something meaningful to them and introducing variety or mediums in class. “I encourage my students to create art that makes them happy,” said Tourdot. “We work together to learn new art media to create fun projects.”

Tourdot is thrilled to have a student recognized for their artistic success through the Artist of the Week competition. Tourdot said, “I enjoy seeing the sense of accomplishment and genuine happiness in the students who are recognized.”

Tourdot is one of the thousands of art teachers from over 100 countries around the world who use Artsonia to showcase their student art, crowdsource lesson plans and help fundraise for their classrooms. Artsonia lets family and friends of student artists create and purchase organic keepsakes from the student art, and then gives back 20 percent of all revenue to the local art classroom.

Artsonia developed Artist of the Week ten years ago as a way to encourage teachers to submit student artwork and engage the school and community to vote on and recognize students for their achievements. Every week, Artsonia selects 12 random submissions in each of four different age groups (PreK-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12) from artwork submitted the previous week. Voting is then open to the public for several days before the winner is announced.

Blick Art Materials generously donates a $100 gift certificate to the winning school and an individual $50 gift certificate to the student artist.

“Our mission at Artsonia is to bring communities together to celebrate children’s artistic expressions,” said Jim Meyers, CEO, and co-founder of the company. “Artist of the week is a perfect way to get local schools, families, and friends involved in the process of creating, recognizing, and cherishing student art.”

For more information, visit artsonia.com.

About Artsonia

Artsonia is the world’s largest online collection of student art and a destination for thousands of art educators in over 100 countries worldwide. The website curates 90 million pieces of student art (and counting). Artsonia works with teachers to create online school student art portfolios and manage the art room. Parents and relatives can view the art online, leave comments, and order keepsakes featuring the artwork. As part of its mission, Artsonia donates 20 percent of merchandise revenue directly back to local classrooms. Since 2000, it has donated more than $12.5 million.

A 2020 Common Sense Education top pick for curation and student portfolios, Artsonia inspires students and promotes the sharing of art with its weekly Artist of the Week campaign and online gift shop — all while helping to fund local school art programs.