Polaroids by Stivers senior Destiny Bass won Gold Key for portfolio. PAMELA DILLON/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Art students show promise through their creative vision

Art students in the Miami Valley are once again proving that there is no lack of creative talent among today’s youth. Whether it’s photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture, or fashion design, there is much to see at K12 Gallery & TEJAS. The Scholastic Art Award Exhibit showcases these young art winners, with an Awards Reception scheduled for March 3.

Over 1,400 submissions were received from a ten-county area, making the choosing process a daunting task for the panel of local artists, educators, authors, and arts professionals. The jurors’ criteria was based on originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.

“It is a privilege to be a part of a program that shares high caliber level artwork created by Miami Valley teens with our community and the Nation. It is such a reward to see how proud the students are to have their creative work taken seriously,” said TEJAS director Rebecca Sargent. “The Scholastic Awards program is an incredible source of inspiration for everyone involved, from participating students, to their educators and families, and to everyone who gets to visit the exhibition.”

Near the entrance to the gallery, viewers see the creative vision of Grace Combs, a senior at Centerville High School. She won an American Visions award in fashion, a Gold Key in drawing and illustration, and a Silver Key for her art portfolio. She took paper to another level in fashion design for her “Watercolor Dress with Cranes.” She is presenting several fashion designs and the viewer can imagine her competing in Runway Project, Jr. in the unusual materials challenge.

“We were pleased to have Fairmont High School & Centerville High School participate more this year. We’ll be keeping an eye on their strong art departments in the coming years,” said Sargent.

Ptah Amissah-Aidoo, a senior at Stivers School for the Arts, won an American Visions Award for his drawing, “Noah.” He also won a Gold Key Award for his art portfolio of “Eximious,” a series of charcoal figurative drawings.

Other Best in Show/American Vision winners: Colin Combs, a junior at Fairmont High School, “Projection of the Interspeller Space Boys,” photography play-on-words; Simon Kingston, Stivers senior, printmaking, “Bed, Summer 2015;” and Sullivan Manning, homeschooled senior, Decoy Art, film and animation, “Unfortunate Man’s Trip to the Museum.”

More Gold Key Winners for portfolios: Destiny Bass, Stivers senior, “Polaroids,” color pencil drawings; and James Fields IV, Stivers senior, ceramics/glass. Other Silver Key portfolio winners: Jade Cousar, Stivers senior, “Contemplation,” paintings; and Simon Kingston, Stivers senior, photography.

American Visions and Gold Key recipients will compete for national honors at the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards held in New York City at Carnegie Hall this summer. Those winners at the national level will share more than $250,000 in awards and scholarships.

“Teenagers are pushing artistic boundaries and challenging themselves creatively every day,” said executive director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Virginia McEnerney. “For nearly a century, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have not only provided a launching pad for many extraordinary artists and writers, but also lets millions of teens know that creative thinking, problem solving, and experimentation serve them well in any path they [choose] in life.”

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