Students won Foot Leveler’s art contest

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Laura Ratliff

According to the Foot Levelers website, Emily Whittaker, Chrissy Frostick and Megan Zalecki are three Radford University students from Professor Halide Salam’s advanced painting class are winners of the 2011 Foot Levelers Art Contest.

“Foot Levelers, a company that focuses on orthopedic inserts and human wellness, created a contest which called artist from across Virginia to create pieces of work that would possibly be hung in Chiropractic offices and schools,” said junior Emily Whittaker, who’s painting focused on the abilities of the spine concerning movement and energy.

The students were given guidelines such as keywords: Chiropractic, movement, feet and spine.

These guidelines would inspire the final art pieces that the contestants created.

The competition isn’t for all, as it requires drive and determination. Contests either point out weakness or power.

“I actually really enjoyed competing. The contest gave me a drive to finish my painting as well as a feeling of anticipation to hear the results. The cash reward was also a perk.” said Whittaker, speaking of the $200 the contestants received from a company representative.

“Art is personally important, because it constantly challenges me as well as provides a therapeutic element in my life. Art pushes me to think outside of the box not only in the studio but in other academic classes as well,”said Whittaker. “On a larger scale, art is extremely important is society because it provides a way of expression that can’t be matched.”

Foot levelers clearly wanted artists to portray a message of getting healthy, but will the viewers of the art absorb any positive impact from the message portrayed?

“There’s a big difference between art and commercial advertisement, though they can however overlap, said Whittaker If a message of wellness is conveyed in a piece of advertisement it would certainly provide a positive message and overall feel, though it is up to the viewer as to whether they take the idea to heart and start living a healthy lifestyle. The same can be true in art, however the message often is not as clean cut and can be up for interpretation. The intentional message of wellness might not be black and white.”

When all the competing and rigorous work is set aside, there is certainly time to stand back and see exactly how someone else interpreted the message to create another work of art.

“I loved seeing the different styles and techniques of the other contestants,” said Whittaker. “We all were given the same assignment however each person molded the idea in his or her own way. Overall each artwork was executed very well.”