Hard work pays off for sophomore artist Maggie Scott through awards and art internship


Maggie Scott’s piece “Eat” is featured on her art account on Instagram. She often features her art on this account reaching over 800 followers.

Kortney Buresh, Sports Editor

In the middle of downtown Omaha, on the corner of Leavenworth street emcompasses an old building called Kent Bellows Studio. On Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. many teenagers make this building their home by exploring, inventing, and making advancements with their art. One of these students is Bellevue West sophomore, Maggie Scott.

Scott explained that her interest in art sparked from watching her dad paint sculptures. This soon developed into her own hobby of drawing and painting. In seventh grade Scott took a step further in her art career.

“I haven’t been taking painting seriously for that long,” Scott said. “I mean, I’ve doodled my whole life but it wasn’t until I was in seventh grade that I decided I wanted to get better and become an artist.”

One way she took a step towards improving her art was by applying to the Kent Bellows Mentoring program. This program is through the Joslyn Art Museum. After a competitive application process, it accepts around 70 high schoolers each year.

Through this program each artist is placed in a program based on their area of specific interest. Scott participates in the painting arts program within Kent Bellows. Over a span of two hours, each artist works closely with the three to five members of the group and mentors.

“Usually you don’t get in until your junior year but I got in the summer before my freshman year, so that was pretty cool,” Scott said. “When I applied, I was 14 and I wasn’t expecting much. I never really thought of myself as a ‘good’ artist and when I found out I was accepted, I couldn’t believe it.”

Katie Temple, the studio coordinator of the program, interviews the applicants who are interested in the program and matches them with an artist mentor. While overseeing the program, Temple has been able to see Scott grow.

“Painting comes very naturally to Maggie, almost like reading a book,” Temple said. “She has a natural eye for proportion and balance in her paintings and has a great attention to detail. She isn’t afraid to rework an oil painting in order to get it just right.”

One of Scotts peers, and Bellevue  junior, Josie Linhart, is a part of the Urban Arts program with in Kent Bellows. Scott joined the program during Linharts sophomore year, and since then Linhart has been able to see Scott improve in her work.

“I think what sets her apart is her incredible skill in oil paints at a young age,” Linhart said. “Her artworks demonstrate creativity and imagination that is unique to her.”

Not only do her peers see her potential but the awards she has received acknowledged her success as well.

Last year she placed first in two art shows: The Tri City Art Show at Papillion South, and the A.C. Lofton Art show at Bellevue East. This year, she received the “Award of Merit” at the Artist Cooperative Gallery High School Art Exhibition and at the Iowa Western Juried Art Competition. She also won 1st place in oil painting at the Tri-City District II Art show at Papillion South on Sat. March 24, 2018.

Her art career has become more decorated with awards with in the last two years, to say the least. Scott explains her appreciation for the art program and all that it’s brought her.  

“Art has become my whole life, and being able to be in this program is validation that I can be something great,” Scott said.