The Russell Original Art Review (ROAR) judge for 2016 is Beth Myers, a veteran art educator recently retired from the Little River USD 444 School District. Myers has Bachelor degrees in K-12 art and physical education from Central Missouri State University and a Master’s in Education with an Emphasis in Art from Emporia State University.
Shortly after graduating college in 1984, Myers began her first teaching job for the Little River School District. She remained with the district her entire teaching career, and during her 31 year career, amassed an impressive list of distinctions and awards for her art students. The Little River art program has become synonymous with outstanding artwork, due in large part to Myers encouraging her students to share their artwork with local, regional, national, and even international audiences.
“I estimate we’ve entered around 300 art shows,” Myers says, adding, “Our Little River students would enter anywhere from 8 to 120 pieces often winning awards on over half of their entries.”
Meyers said it is hard to pick a favorite student, a favorite show, or a favorite entry, because the list is so long. Some of the highlights of her career include:
16 years participating in the ROAR show, winning numerous awards, including the Art Priddy Remembrance Award and the Trudy Furney Award. Students sold numerous pieces at the ROAR show throughout the years.
Four times her students have won “Best of Show” at the First Congressional Art Competition. Each of the works represented the state of Kansas and were exhibited in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington D.C. for a year.
A “Best of Show” winner at the American Royal Art Competition. The piece was auctioned off at a reception and brought $2,200.
Three students were selected to study photography at the Dublin University of Photography in Ireland in the summer of 2004. Myers accompanied the students to Ireland.
But perhaps the accomplishment of which Myers is proudest is that 67 of her former students have chosen a career in the field of art and are successful in those careers. I stay in touch with many of my former students, and it’s so rewarding to see their successes in the field of art,” Myers says.
Myers and her husband, Loren, live on a farm in rural Little River, and now retired, you can usually find Myers fishing in the streams or ponds near her farm or on nearby Wilson Lake.