Following your art means following your heart

Messenger photo by Theresa Hennis
Founders of the Kurt Lattimer Aspiring Artist Award congratulate this year’s winners: (from left) Tony Reeder, Kim Lattimer Reeder holding the piece submitted by second-place finisher Caleb Herrli, third-place finisher Mason Smith, first-place finisher Aubrey Cline, and Natalie and Mick Harris.

(Posted Feb. 11, 2020)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

What do you dream of for your future?

That was the theme for the 2020 Kurt Lattimer Aspiring Artist Award competition. A total of 22 seniors from high schools in Madison County turned their dreams into art in hopes of winning cash prizes.

All of the contest entries are on display through March 1 at Gallery on High, 5 E. High St., London.

During an opening reception on Feb. 7, the award’s founders–Tony Reeder and Kim Lattimer Reeder and Mick and Natalie Harris—along with members of the London Visual Arts Guild congratulated this year’s winners–Aubrey Cline and Caleb Herrli from London High School and Mason Smith from Tolles Career & Technical Center and Jonathan Alder High School.

The award commemorates the life of Kim Lattimer Reeder’s son, Kurt Lattimer. Kurt, whose passion was art, passed away in May 2017. Presented annually, the award is meant to inspire students who are going into the field of art or who are interested in improving their art skills after graduation.

“Follow your art and stick with it. If you love art, always chase that love and keep it in the forefront,” Tony Reeder said during the prize announcements.

Aubrey Cline won first place and $1,000 for her entry titled, “Picturing Me.” The piece reflects what she imagines she will do in the future–travel, write and create art. She also plans to pursue a business degree with a minor in art. Her advice to future competitors: “Don’t overthink the process. Keep practicing, and take every critique you receive to become better.”

Caleb Herrli snagged second place and $250 for his entry titled, “Sick Metal Arc Welding.”

“My love for skateboarding and welding inspired my art piece. I’m taking a mechanical principles class, and I enjoy the welding. I’m going to go on to Hobart Welding School in Troy, Ohio.”

Herrli’s advice to future competitors: “Explore ways to make art out of what you love to do.”

Third place and $100 went to Mason Smith, whose entry, “Hold My Heart,” features a human hand holding a human heart.

“It was kind of a play on words,” he said. “I want to touch people’s hearts in a loving way to build relationships.”

Smith plans to study interior design in college. His advice to future competitors: “Don’t doubt yourself. I just started creating art last year. Don’t give up too quickly.”

Following your art means following your heart, and Kim Lattimer Reeder’s heart for honoring her son’s legacy is evident in her desire to welcome more students to the competition and to the art community in Madison County.

“Upcoming art students, come on out and show us what you can do. You’ll get to meet other artists and make a connection and learn,” she said.

Each of the students who entered the competition received a one-year membership to the London Visual Arts Guild.

Gallery on High is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday and Sunday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is always free. For information about upcoming exhibits, visit

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