St. Anthony Student Headed to State in Art Competition

February 23, 2024

Several Students Place Highly in Regional Competition

San Antonio – February 23, 2024 –“I can’t exactly remember the first time I became interested in art, but I suppose I began to explore it in middle school,” recalls Thuy-Tien Nguyen. “I guess I had just seen that I enjoyed playing with color and experimenting with different mediums such as digital art or even watercolor.”

It has not been long since Thuy-Tien Nguyen started playing and experimenting, but the St. Anthony Catholic High School (SACHS) sophomore is already being recognized for her obvious talent. Nguyen, along with three other SACHS students, competed against 39 other schools in the Region 20 East section of the Visual Art Scholastic Event, or VASE, competition in early February. All four, Nguyen along with Enzo Ybarra, Meghan Leiker and William Gay, scored high enough to receive the highest rankings in their respective categories and they all earned medals. But it was Nguyen’s work that earned a spot in the state competition.

“To be completely honest, I didn’t know that the art competition was connected to a state competition,” says Nguyen. “Still, I was really pleased to find out that I had progressed to that level and it really felt like an honor. I’m excited to see where my art will go and I’m really glad that it was received well.”

The honor of doing so well at the VASE competition goes beyond the technical art talent of all four of these students. Each student must participate in the competition in person with their artwork and is interviewed by a juror who will ask them questions about their artwork. Most of the questions are about sources for their work, research and application, execution and technique, and explanation about their working process and personal expression. It’s the ability of these students to engage and convey the message behind their artwork that is a point of pride for those who lead them.

“As an art educator, I am very proud of the work of these four students,” says SACHS Art Teacher Diane Briseno. “They are very dedicated, hardworking and are always striving to improve their skills. Competing in the VASE art competition is a great opportunity for our students to talk about their work and get feedback from other art professionals. It also gives them a chance to see what other art students are doing across the city.”

All these students are engaged in the Art Club, which is just one example of the holistic approach to education that students receive at St. Anthony Catholic High School. The club is one of 15 academic and social clubs offered at SACHS including the Health Professions Club, Peer Ministry, the Cyberpatriots Computer Club and so much more. For students like Nguyen, this is the creative outlet that makes St. Anthony such a unique experience.

“I began attending art club this year and I used most of the time to work on my piece,” concludes Nguyen. “My experiences with the club have been only good ones as I was given a space to just relax and create art.”

The state VASE competition takes place on April 27 that San Marcos High School.


MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Valdes, Media and Public Relations Manager, Office of Communications & Brand Marketing, (210) 829-6001, (210) 422-4052 or