Community Impact

Northrop High School students honored in Bowen Health Clinic Art Competition

May 15th, 2024 | 3 min read

Bowen CareSource Art Awards

Bowen CareSource Art Awards Group. Front Row (L to R): Madison Harmeyer, Vanessa (River) Aguilar, Sal Behrends, Kalob Steigerwald, Alexandria (Alex) Barlett, and Erica Leitch, Northrop art teacher Back Row (L to R): David Rose, CareSource AVP external Strategy; Kristi Carney, CareSource Director of Behavioral Health - Indiana Market; Shannon Hannon, Bowen Center COO; Dr. Rob Ryan, Bowen Center President/CEO; Kylie Riecken, Bowen Health Clinic - Fort Wayne Senior Director; Devota Masasu, Bowen Health Clinic Assistant Director (Photo: CareSource).

Fort Wayne, Ind. (CARESOURCE) – Eight talented art students from Northrop High School have been recognized for their exceptional creativity and skill in the Bowen Health Clinic Empowerment Art Competition, co-sponsored by CareSource. The awards ceremony took place at Northrop High School, celebrating the achievements of these young artists.

“It’s long been recognized that art provides a creative outlet for our complex emotions,” said Dr. Rob Ryan, President and CEO at Bowen Center. “It’s a powerful form of expression and viewing art can reduce stress and increase our overall sense of well-being. So, it only makes sense for us to encourage that, exhibit art in our buildings and use that opportunity to showcase local talent. It is a privilege to put these young artists’ talents on display.”

The winning artworks, carefully selected by the Bowen Center team, will now be showcased in the lobby of the Bowen Health Clinic located at 2100 Goshen Road in Fort Wayne. This initiative not only highlights the artistic talent within the community but also promotes mental wellness through creative expression.

Elise Gilman, a junior at Northrop High School, claimed the first-place prize of $2,000 with her striking acrylic painting titled "Power." Sophomore Zoey (Kalob) Steigerwald secured second place and a $1,000 award for her captivating piece "Let the Light In," while Zoe (Sal) Behrends, an 11th-grade student, earned third place and $500 for her digital artwork "Tranquility."

Northrop High School Art Teacher Erica Leitch says it was rewarding helping her students take on the theme of “empowerment” in their work.

“I watched a lot of them really think about the topic of “empowerment” and how to translate their ideas into their artwork,” said Ms. Leitch. “I encouraged them to do research or to find something within themselves that they could connect to their work and the results were amazing and inspiring.”

In addition to the top prizes, five students received honorable mentions for their outstanding contributions, each receiving $250. These students are Riley Pepple (12th grade), Tijana Hrncic (12th grade), Alexandria (Alex) Barlett (10th grade), Caden (CJ) Boyles (11th grade), and Vanessa (River) Aguilar (12th grade).

CareSource, as a co-sponsor of the event, supported all eight students with scholarships to encourage them to continue their artistic endeavors.

“Supporting these young artists not only enriches their educational experiences, but also strengthens the fabric of the communities we serve,” said Steve Smitherman, president of CareSource Indiana. “This partnership with Bowen Health Clinic is part of our ongoing commitment to innovative and comprehensive health solutions that extend beyond traditional care." 

The public is invited to view the students’ art exhibition at the Bowen Health Clinic’s Goshen Road location during clinic hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Bowen Center, a nonprofit Community Mental Health Center, provides mental and behavioral health care, addiction recovery treatment, and life skills coaching services to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves.