Seminarian Ben Schmitt stands with his turned wood and epoxy bowl which took first place at an art competition sponsored by the St. Mary’s (Winona) Art Club and Art Department. Schmitt turned the bowl on a lathe during a free weekend visit home. It is made of elm wood and green-colored epoxy to fill in the spots that had cracked. (Submitted photo)

Freshman seminarian for the Diocese of Superior Ben Schmitt recently took first place at an art competition at St. Mary’s University in Winona. Put on by the St. Mary’s Art Club and Art Department, the competition was open to all majors and all media forms.

The top three pieces were named at the club’s Oct. 24 reception, while the art show continues through the end of the semester and features all art styles from photography to paintings, sculpture, ceramics and woodworking. Seminarians from other dioceses also submitted work for the competition.

Schmitt has been doing woodworking in various forms since middle school, helped by the fact that, as his father also does woodworking, they have a wood shop at home. Schmitt mostly carved until a shop class he took his sophomore year of high school increased his comfort with the tools of the art. He has also used his skills to make shelves, wood wall art, side tables, chess boards and cutting boards, among other things.