Jillian Augustine, Arts Section Editor
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is a group that was established in New York in 1923, and have been accepting student art from all over the country ever since. The Scholastic Art Awards have been looking for work that “demonstrates technical skill, personal voice or vision, and originality,” according to their website. The foundation then rewards the hard work and artistic skills of the students with various well-deserved awards, including scholarship money.
This previous year, over ten students from NCHS submitted their personal work to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and received awards for their pieces. Among these students were senior Camaren Dayton and junior Cece Challe, who were both honored with gold medals from the organization.
Cece, while having previously won an award for her writing, went with a different form of art this year. Cece submitted a digital photography piece that she titled, “In the Dark.” Because of Cece’s want for precision in her work, she spent a countless amount of time on her photo. “During the shoot, I took the photo multiple times from many different angles and finally landed on the shot that I submitted for the Scholastic Art Awards. After this, I edited the photograph on photoshop,” Cece said.
While an artistic eye comes naturally to these winners, there is still a lot of effort that goes into making a piece just how they want it. “The hardest part of creating the piece was getting the shadows from the light to align across her face in a way that added drama to the photo,” Cece said.
For Camaren’s submitted piece, she chose to create a portfolio of her work, with dates ranging from the spring of 2016 to the fall. “I submitted a portfolio of mixed media digital art where I take photographs of modern architecture, trace them in Photoshop, and then draw designs in the background digitally,” Camaren said.
Like Cece, Camaren also experienced some difficulty in making the artwork that she had in her artistic mind. “The biggest challenge was creating 6 different pieces that were all unique but still unified,” Camaren said. “A portfolio can be tricky because all the pieces should stand out on their own, but they also need to be cohesive and still relate in some way.”
In the end, however, the hard work and creativity of both girls clearly paid off. They both look forward to exploring the various programs and scholarship options that are now at their fingertips. “It’s always an amazing feeling to be recognized and I’m beyond happy that they chose my photo,” Cece said. “I’m excited to explore these opportunities and the doors they will open for me!”
Camaren looks forward to taking this win into her future artistic endeavors. “Now that my work has been accepted, I have sent one piece to the regional show in Hartford, CT,” Camaren said. “Now it will be juried again to possibly win national awards and recognition.”
Check out the Scholastic Art and Writing foundation’s website for more information on how you could possibly get involved in this great opportunity.