Spartans take home 1st- and 2nd-place wins in prestigious contest
March 20, 2017
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The high school cliché equates exciting events with sports games, pep rallies and school dances. But Spartan artists continue to prove that their talent will prevail by taking home regional wins in the nationally well-regarded Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
Juniors and seniors entered anything from digital graphics to photographs to drawings in the competition, which were then judged by a jury comprised of professional artists and college art professors.
Junior Kaela Peters took home the prestigious Gold Key in the region, the first place award, for her digital art piece called “Election Year.” Peters said the piece took her two class periods to complete, and was an expression of her personal feelings after the election. A couple weeks later, her digital art teacher, Andy Saffron, recognized the piece’s potential and encouraged her to submit it to the competition.
“I was surprised,” Peters said. “It was a really personal piece. I didn’t feel like it would reach a regional level.”
The second place award, a Silver Key, was awarded to several Spartans, including Camilla Forte, Jessica Hunsinger, Catherine Kiser, Annie Madigan, Brian Nguyen, Michael Rogers, Hattie Brinson, Lauren Budreau, Elizabeth Callahan and Nicholas Chastain.
These decorated artists, along with other Fairfax County students, had their artwork displayed at the Northern Virginia Community College Ernst Center. Peters’s creation will be entered into the National Scholastic competition, and will have the chance to win either a Gold or Silver key award there. The winners of that competition will be announced in April, and will get to display their artwork in New York.
With so many students placing at the regional level of the Scholastic competition, Peters said, is an indication of the high caliber of WS’s Art Department.
“I’ve been drawing since I could pick up a pencil. All of this is to get into college,” said Peters.
Her dream school is the Rhode Island School of Design. She would like to make a career out of her talents.
“Graphic design is not really all about expressing yourself. It’s more like getting your point across and sharing your viewpoint with the world,” said Peters.
Common jobs for artists can include advertising, media, graphic design and videographer positions. Past Scholastic winners have gone on to sell their designs to companies and make a name for themselves in the art and design world.
RISD, where Peters wants to go to school after WS, is known for its prestigious graphic design program.
“I would love to pursue art as a career. Mainly, I want to do posters, album covers and I’m really interested in contemporary work,” sad Peters.
Whatever the case, artists want their art to inspire others and make them see things in a way that make scense.
“I want to encourage others to share their viewpoint,” said Peters.