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Wes Soderberg
1935-1988
Kent Washington

Wes Soderberg, former Kentridge High School art teacher, was a leader in showing students that art is an important part of life, and that many Kent students have the ability to make careers based upon their art training. He taught art in California, at Meridian Junior High from 1965 - 1968, and at Kentridge High School from 1968 - 1988 and during that time led many of his students to achieve high personal success. Wes was also department chairman for the Kentridge art department as well as teaching art at several other schools including painting classes at Green River Community College. His students won numerous state, national, and regional awards, and he was considered one of the top art educators in Washington. "The art department is paying tribute to him as a leading educator in the Green River District. He was liked by hundreds and hundreds of people," said Dr. Bernie Bleha, chairman of the Green River Creative Arts Division and director of the Helen S. Smith Gallery.

While teaching at Kentridge Wes received the Washington Art Educators Association "Art Educator of the Year" award in 1987. He enjoyed working with students and always looked forward to his classes. It was rewarding for him to see his students succeed.

Wes was a fine artist in his own right, having a wide range of art work, including seagull prints which were a favorite symbol of his in the 1970's. One of those designs is featured on the cover of the Scholarship brochure. Another monoprint, "The Crucifixion," won first place at the Swedish-American Exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute in 1964.

 

Soderberg Art Scholarship

The Wes Soderberg Memorial Committee established a scholarship for Kent School District art students in 1990. That fund has provided a scholarship for a Kent School District art student every year since 1990. However, the fund is not self sustaining. It is the desire of the committee and the Soderberg family that the scholarship be endowed so that it continue to benefit students in the years to come.

This scholarship of $1500 is designed for a graduating senior from any of the four high schools in the Kent School District, Kent-Meridian, Kentridge, Kentwood, and Kentlake. Students submit a portfolio of their work to an evaluating committee which includes a committee member, an art educator, a professional artist and others. The scholarship fund is managed by the Kent Community Foundation which assists in collecting funds and makes the annual scholarship payment.

Donations can be made to

Wes Soderberg Art Scholarship
Kent Community Foundation
P.O. Box 128
Kent, WA 98035

 

Soderberg Art Scholarship Recipients

2013

Vincent Lau

 

Art Center College of Design, Pasadena

2012

Daniel Thompson

Kentwood High School

2011

Meredith Bruneau,

Kent Mountain View Academy

2008

Mary Bachand

Kentridge High School
Parsons, NYC

2007

Michelle Thies

Kentwood High School
Art Center College of Design

2006

Sara Wahlin

Kentwood  High School
Western Washington University
2005

Kristin Follmer

Kent-Meridian High School
Claremont McKenna College
2004

Janet Kim

Kent-Meridian High School
The School of Visual Art, NYC
2003

Maegen Bell

Kentlake High School
Maryland Institute College of Art
2002

Lindsey Jones

Kentlake High School
Pacific Lutheran University
2001

Melissa Gill

Kentridge High School
Western Washington University

2000

Soo Yon O

Kentwood High School

1999 Mini Galindo Kentridge High School
Seattle Art Institute
1998 Kristina Childers Kent-Meridian High School
Seattle Central Community College
1997 Alyson Evans Kentridge High School
Emily Carr, Vancouver, BC
1996 Jennifer Jennings Kent-Meridian High School
Kansas City Art Institute
1995 Ashleigh Moselle Kent-Meridian High School
1994 Robb Webber Kent-Meridian High School
Seattle Central Community College
1993 Tim Taylor Kent-Meridian High School
Calhoun Community College
1992 Jamie McCabe Kentridge High School
Highline Community College
1991 Tami Shadle Kentridge High School
Bellevue Community College
1990 Andrea Harvey Kent-Meridian High School
Green River Community College