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2020 Gesso Magazine Emerging Young Artist Award

2020 Gesso Magazine Emerging Young Artist Award

Madelynn Kohn is the winner of the 2020 Gesso Magazine Emerging Young Artist Award. Madelynn was among dozens of art students from high schools across the 12th Congressional District of Illinois to exhibit and compete for prizes at the annual High School Student Show and Congressional Art Competition sponsored by Illinois Congressman Mike Bost and the Schmidt Art Center at Southwestern Illinois College Belleville (IL). Her acrylic painting “Soul Eater Sun and Moon” was selected by the Editorial Staff of Gesso Magazine as the exemplary work to receive this Gesso Award.

The award was to be presented at the Opening Reception of the exhibition, Thursday March 19, in front of a packed house of friends, family and art enthusiasts from across the region. Due to the Covid-19 Social Distancing orders, the opening was cancelled. The exhibit was mounted at the gallery to be on display and open to the public through April 16. The exhibition was quarantined and remained behind closed doors.

Madelynn is a graduating Senior at Valmeyer (IL) High School where she has studied art under the tutelage of Jodi Venhaus. She plans to include art in her studies this fall at Saint Louis Community College – Meramec.

Madelynn states: “Art and anime have always been a coping device throughout my life. The series Soul Eater has always been one of my favorites for its animation style. Atsushi Ōkubo, the creator of Soul Eater, has always been an idol to me, and his show inspired this piece because I love the sun and moon in his show.” (

Congratulations, Madelynn. Like the sun and the moon, Gesso thinks your future looks very bright!  #BeYourArt

Madelynn can be reached at

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