Congratulations to Brooke Jackson, Emily Hess and Iyana Young, Scholastic Art Show Silver Key winners! Groton high school seniors, these three intelligent young ladies have each created very different art pieces each with a distinct message that is personal to them. As Scholastic award winners their work has been chosen by professional artists as having originality as well as technical skill that set it apart from other submissions.
Senior Brooke Jackson created a multi-media piece that was designed to mimic the look of a fashion magazine's front cover, she chose the enduring Vogue typographical logo and a portrait of herself to begin. In this piece she questions popular ideas, she titled her work Expectations of Society, and said "I wanted to show how media puts these expectations into our minds…how to achieve the perfect body…well, what is the perfect body, you know? Society sets these expectations on how we should be viewed," she explained. Brooke digitally created the cover look using a photo of herself which was printed onto canvas. After removing the backing of the printed piece she hand-stitched over the words she wanted to emphasize. The final project combines both craftsmanship and digital imaging for a very unique and defined look. Brooke is planning to continue studying art in college and says of her experience at Groton high school, "I really enjoyed art but Mrs. (Brookley) Spanbauer made me appreciate art more because I was opened to this welcomed environment and I just liked being here, doing my artwork and spending time with her, it was almost like therapy in a way."
Senior Emily Hess created a work she calls Tiptoeing Around the Shattered Pieces. She spent some time this year trying to explore meaningful concepts within her artwork; "I tried to focus on problems that teenagers have that seem to be overlooked in today's society, I tried to focus on depression and anxiety and trying to overcome those problems. I chose charcoal to get a really expressive feel and I did it on cardboard because it's a cheap material I wanted to utilize that. Some people can just look at the piece and see feet standing on their tiptoes, (but) if someone who suffers from a mental illness such as depress or anxiety can see the title and think, well, maybe this person is overcoming their struggles and trying to work around that and become a better person." Emily also created a self-portrait that received Honorable Mention in the Drawing and Illustration category. She titled this charcoal on paper 17 and Gone. Describing the piece, she said it is about trying to find a purpose in high school and was related to the theme of depression and anxiety. "I feel like kids get really stuck in the idea, I have to succeed in school, I have to have friends, I have to be popular, meanwhile they lose their real identity," she said. Now in her last year of high school, Emily says of her art teacher, "Mrs. Spanbauer has been like a second mom to me she is an inspiration…a role model and a friend. I am really glad I had her and I am probably going to miss her a lot next year."
Senior Iyana Young created a mixed-media piece that she said was inspired by her personal experiences and stories. "Basically by growing up in a mostly white society, being diverse and being different because I am white and black, was really very difficult for me," she said. "Growing up I didn't really want to embrace who I was because I was surrounded by people who didn't look like me. I was experimenting throughout the year with different themes like that, and I kinda just started cutting cardboard." Iyana's piece appears formal yet earthy with vivid colors and cut cardboard shaped into 3-dimensional native South African flowers. Iyana said, "I never really invested in art until I had Mrs. Spanbauer who really pushed me and challenged me to actually make things that matter and say things that matter, so without her I honestly don't think I would have been good at something. Honestly, I've never had a teacher so invested, I've had several that are invested but none as much as she is invested and as much as she cares, which is nice because if she wasn't, I honestly don't think I would have pushed myself and created some of the pieces which are the most important to me, to my story moving forward."
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the largest annual art competition in the nation and receives submissions in fourteen genres of art from public, private and home school art students in grades 7th through 12th. All of the regional New York/Pennsylvania award-winning art will be displayed at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY until March 4, 2016.