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Student artist places high in regional competition

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A Bethel College art student placed in the top group in a regional art scholarship competition.

Audra Miller, sophomore from Hesston, was one of 19 finalists in the Midwest Regional Collegiate Scholarship Competition, sponsored annually by Fine Art Finals based in Glen Ellyn, Ill. The organization sponsors regional competitions for artists in both high school and college. In addition to Kansas, the Midwest Region covers Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Miller, a student of Rachel Epp Buller, assistant professor of art at Bethel College, submitted three pieces, receiving notice for a colored pencil drawing entitled “Capture the Wind.”

“The competition was fierce,” Epp Buller said, “and mostly from larger schools” – including Bowling Green State University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri and University of Wisconsin. There were three other finalists from Kansas, from Pittsburg State University, University of Kansas and Washburn University.

“It was really exciting to be chosen as a finalist,” said Miller. “Being from a small liberal arts college, I didn’t [imagine] it was possible.”

Not so for Epp Buller, however. “Audra is a talented and motivated art student and I'm not surprised in the least that she made the final round,” Epp Buller said. “What a great representation of the Bethel College art department!”

The Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions are dedicated to the promotion of talented and gifted emerging artists at the high school and collegiate levels.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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