Students from two Shelby County High Schools recently won awards for their artwork at the Visual Arts Achievement Program district competition at the University of Montevallo.
Oak Mountain High School senior Sydney Harrington won first place in drawing for her submission “Unveil.” OMHS junior Diane Rojas won first place in mixed media for her piece “Fine Art” and second place in painting for “Oversized Still Life.” Chelsea High School senior Kristen Hamby took first place in printmaking for her linoleum block print titled “The Importance of Vanity.” As winners at the local level, all three students will have their artwork entered into the state VAAP state competition to be held in April.
Harrington is currently in Nicole McKinney’s AP 2-D Design class. For her winning piece “Unveil” she used expressive scribbling to depict overlapping portraits in pencil. She then finished the piece by sawing a piece of wood to proportion and using nails and brads to attached the drawing securely.
“She is passionate about her art and about creating,” McKinney said of Harrington. “I truly enjoy our conversations in class and seeing the determination in her eyes when she is presented with a new opportunity or method of working.”
Rojas is also a student in McKinney’s AP 2-D Design class won. McKinney said Rojas’ mixed media piece “Fine Art” incorporates street art and recognizable works of art on a varied level and sometimes transparent surface.
“She focuses on color and contrast and is passionately drawn to graffiti as an art form,” McKinney said. “Her focus on color and contrast can also be seen in her painting titled “Oversized Still Life.”
Hamby’s instructor, Chelsea High art teacher Max Newton was full of praise for her work also. Newton said Hamby, who is also her school’s valedictorian this year, is an extremely talented student.
“I’m thrilled for Kristen. This is a remarkably well-done print” Newton said. “I challenged the kids to make either a religious, political, social or economic statement. Kristen made a wonderful statement about our preoccupation with ourselves, or our own vanity, until the end our lives, and in this satirical and humorous image, even afterward.”