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The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

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Scholastic Art competition brings novice student’s best

Madison Rasp
A LOOK IN THE MIRROR: Oliver Huckaba’s piece conveys a feeling of disassociation found in reflections. The drawing which earned an Honorable mention in competition.

In the back of L hall, student artists scribble meaningfully at large pieces of paper as their skillful hands create art worthy of rewards. In mid December a handful of Bowie’s art students submitted pieces to The  Scholastic Art competition, with three of them winning awards.

Lily Florance won a Silver Key for her painting “Subject #4742” painting, Asher Hagan won an honorable mention for their “A Human being without age is not a possibility”, and Oliver Huckaba won an honorable mention for their drawing “Reflection”.

“I like Scholastic,” art teacher Mollie Ryan said. “Compared to other competitions it’s not very paperwork heavy, students create art and get to submit it.”

Each student created an unprompted piece of art they chose to submit to the competition. Some students’ pieces started as work for their class and ended up being submitted.

“If I see them working on a piece I think would be good for competition I try to encourage them to submit it,” Ryan said.

The work is graded by key; the artist would have earned a Gold Key, Silver Key, or Honorable Mention.

“ I always encourage them to go to the award ceremony so they can see the artwork and see the caliber of work,” Ryan said. “Silver Key and honorable mentions is still some of the best work being submitted.”

Although Ryan worries about the disappointment students can face when they do not place in the competition she feels that the experience is good for students.

“I think it can be disappointing for students who do not hear anything back,” Ryan said. “I always encourage them to go to the award ceremony to see the work that did place.”

Students spend many hours over several class periods working on their art.

“Some students work on pieces for months,” Ryan said. “They put a lot of effort into their work.”

AWARD WINNER: . Lily Florance’s piece deals with a more serious topic of womens roles and sexual assault. The painting won a silver key in competition. (Madison Rasp)

Most students competing started their pieces as in class assignments. Junior Oliver Huckaba was creating a piece for an in class assignment when it was suggested to him to submit it to competition.

“I was about halfway through the piece when Ms. Ryan told us about the competition,” Huckaba said. “I thought, why not just see what happens.”

Artists find inspiration in many places, nowadays inspiration can also be found on social media. Huckaba  uses the app Pinterest to help find inspiration.

“I find most of my inspiration scrolling on pinterest,” Huckaba said. “I gather all sorts of ideas I want to draw.”

Huckaba found his inspiration for this piece in the feeling of dissociation when looking into the mirror. The drawing which took around seven hours for Huckaba to create started with a small sketch.

“I usually will start with a small sketch of what I want to draw and see how it looks,” Huckaba said. “ I draw a cleaner version of the sketch onto a bigger piece of paper and from there add shading and colors.”

Senior Lily Florance shares a similar creative process and spent around 12 hours on her painting. Florance found inspiration on drawing attention to hard hitting topics like sexual assault and womens rolls in the world.

“I really wanted to talk about sexual assault and womens roles,” Florance said. “I feel like it can be really influential to high school girls.”

Similar to Huckaba, Florance’s piece started as an in class assignment, the prompt being to create a piece of art which comments on a social topic.

“It’s such a topic,” Florance said. “And to be able to use imagery to comment on this topic was really important to me.”

Florance’s imagery utilizes many known symbolizations of women as well as major Greek Mythology representation.

“The pomegranate is a reference to Persephone and Hades,” Florance said. “It fits well because it’s a story about women having their basic rights taken away.”

Other aspects of the painting include a bison which represents another part of Greek Mythology, Hera who is associated with womanhood, and a fallen swan representing Zeus.

“The swan and the bison are kind of balancing each other out like yin and yang,” Florance said. “With the pomegranate in the middle.”

Deciding to submit the painting was easy for Florance who felt the overall message and importance of the art made it the perfect competition piece.

“The feminism and ideas about womanhood are so important,” Florance said. “It was the most striking piece I had made this year.”

Florance and Huckaba’s use of imagery and combined artistic skills allowed for both of them to place in competition.

“We have some amazing artists here,” Ryan said. “This kind of competition can really provide them with motivation and fuel to improve their skills, or give them the boost of confidence they need.”

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