By Riley Burns
Drawing and painting is in the air at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Sophomore Elizabeth Redmore, freshman Alisa Salbert, and two seniors Arianna Hege and Dalya Al-Hoshishi became national medalists in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
The process for students to enter into the scholastic contest is simple. Students who want to enter have their teachers send in their pieces to the local scholastic art competition. If they win a gold key there, they automatically advance to the national contest. There, judges award gold or silver medals to participants from all over the country. Though there were 24 gold keys awarded to J-DHS students, and so 24 entries into the national contest, these four girls were the only ones from J-DHS who were also recognized at the national level.
Redmore won a silver medal for her painting called “Granny Smith.” This painting is a close up portrait of a green apple showing detail of shadow and color. “It was my first painting so I was very surprised when it got a gold key, let alone a national silver medal,” says Redmore. “I’ve drawn many times before but because this was my first painting, (so) it definitely came as a shock.”
Just like Redmore, Salbert won a silver medal. Her drawing and illustration is called “Paint Can.” “Although it was frustrating to draw and took a lot of time, it was so fun to get that kind of experience at my age,” said Salbert.
Hege’s acrylic painting of antique piano keys layered on sheets of music, called “Moonlight Sonata,” won a silver medal in the National Scholastic contest. “It’s a great honor and honestly came as a big surprise to me to have won a national award,” said Hege.
Al-Hoshishi had the greatest honor; she won a gold medal, the highest award given at the national level. Her drawing and illustration is titled “Sarah El-Hindi” and is a closeup portrait of a girl wearing a veil with arabic writing in the back to represent her cultural background. “I was very surprised to have won a medal at all, let alone a gold one,” said Al-Hoshishi. “I was truly inspired by where my family comes from and I wanted to try something new and unique and I thought this would be a good place to start,” she said.
Art teacher Carlos Benedict is very proud of all four girls for their achievements. “All four girls got the opportunity to compete at the national level because of their hard work and dedication to the piece they were working on,” says Mr. Benedict. “Being able to earn a silver or gold medal is a privilege that they all very well earned.”