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Ta majored in art at Augustana, and shortly before her graduation on May 24, it was announced that she had been awarded the Harold Spitznagel Medal for Achievement in Art, the highest award presented by Augustana's Art Department.

This summer, Ta will work at a Sanford Health internship in arts. She will help cancer patients and their families express their emotions through therapy activities. She also plans on returning to the art studio at Augustana, perfecting her portfolio.

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In her school in Hanoi, Vietnam, the subjects of art and music Converse New 2018

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have all the foundation skills in drawing, print making, design.

weren't offered.

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It came as a jolt, however, when Ta learned her destination.

The opportunity for Ta, now 21, to pursue fine arts came first when she spent her senior year at Harrisburg High School, a foreign exchange student staying with the Matt and Kristy Gropel family.

Ta cannot choose a favorite art medium, she says. She likes mixed media, print making, graphic design . the list goes on to photography and stained glass.

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"I never heard of South Dakota in my life," she says. "I was expecting Seattle, Washington or New York. Things I saw in movies. But it is nice and peaceful here."

She is only the second international student to receive the award, which honors student artists who demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in all their artistic endeavors during their years at Augustana.

"My high school back home told me I had to come back and study for another year," Ta says. "They didn't accept the credits I got from Harrisburg. They said it was too easy for the high school back home. But Augie encouraged me, and the art department, I really liked it."

The Spitznagel medal is not awarded every year. It only has been given three times since 2007.

Lindsay Twa, director of the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery on Augustana's campus, says Ta "exhibited a willingness to push herself into the unknown, including the selection of her school."

"I like everything art," she says.

During her four years at Augustana, Ta took eight courses with Tom Shields, Converse Pumps Heels

Her high school in Hanoi offered a competitive atmosphere, one that wasn't congenial for a girl who wanted to paint, not study math. Her parents initially rejected the idea of her traveling to the United States for a year of high school but later came to accept it.

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Where that portfolio might take her, Ta doesn't know. She wants to attend graduate school, and she also is considering teaching or working in graphic design or at an art gallery.

Hanoi native's art flourishes in Sioux Falls

"I'm open to anything," she says. "There's so much out there in America or Vietnam or Converse Shoes Kids in the world. I Converse Chuck 2 Neon

professor of painting and graphic design. "As with all exceptional students, she quickly understands concepts I'm discussing with her," he said.

It expanded when she was accepted as a freshman at Augustana College in 2010.

Augustana College graduate Anh Ta, a native of Hanoi, Vietnam, was awarded the prestigious Harold Spitznagel Medal for Achievement in Art, the highest award presented by the Augustana Art Department. When her parents entered the room, the teenager quickly hid her drawings.

"All I was studying was science, math, biology and chemistry. And physics," Ta says. "I always found myself drawing and doodling, and it's what I always wanted to do."

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