SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — High schoolers are getting the chance to display their art work in a professional gallery.

That student is Ella Ratliff from Lincoln High School and she says she’s thrilled with this opportunity.

Creating art has been Ella Ratliff’s passion for as long as she can remember. Now she is getting to share her talents with the community through the Augustana High School Invitational.

“This is actually my first one that I submitted and it’s called ‘Insight into Ella,’ and it’s kind of about how I started drawing and how my journey has progressed since then, so it’s kind of looking back at myself through these old drawings to see where I came from and where I am now,” Ratliff said.

Ratliff has two other pieces on display, one showing the challenges children face as they come back to school after the pandemic. The other shows how she doesn’t always fit in among her friends. Each teacher only got to pick three pieces for the gallery, so having three pieces of her own work is a big honor.

“I love the putting my artwork out there, just for other people to look at it and say hey that’s pretty good. I thinks its also good exposure because I’m not the most outgoing so it’s really good to get myself out there and push myself out of my comfort zone,” said Ratliff.

Allowing students to showcase their artwork on a larger scale.

“Sometimes it will be the first time they have ever been in a gallery before, so it’s fabulous to see them bring their friends and their parents and to have that honor,” said Sarah Winterscheidt, Lincoln High School art teacher.

“You know this is a professional gallery it’s a great experience for them because a lot of people know about it, a lot of people from the community like to come in and see what’s happening in the high schools and they get you know visual exposure of their work and that’s always good for an artist,” said John Peters, gallery coordinator.

There is artwork showcased from 16 different schools across the state. If you are interested in going to see the gallery it is located in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana University.

The gallery is open to the public and free of charge. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 1-4 p.m. Guests must wear face masks and follow the physical distancing requirements.