OSWEGO, NY – There is no doubt that success is driven by dedication, determination and support and this was quite evident for Oswego High School students who received recognition in one of the elite artistic competitions of the year.
(photos are of Gold Key winners).
This year, Oswego High School students brought home seven “gold keys” and numerous silver and honorable mention honors in the 2012 Central New York Scholastic Arts Competition. This competitive show encompassed 87 Central New York school districts and more than 4,500 entries.
Judges recognized the accomplishments of several talented Oswego High School students.
Oswego Art Teacher Melissa Martin said, “Only a handful of the 4,500 entries received awards. Oswego High School students had an outstanding showing this year receiving the most ‘Gold Key Awards’ of any school in Oswego County. Overall we won a total of 30 awards.”
The “Gold Keys” are considered the best in New York State and continue on to national competition.
This year’s “Gold Keys” were presented to Abigail Allen and Jane Coty for jewelry, Criszer Cabanlig and Emily Henderson for drawing, Emily Fleischman for photography, and Megan Mahaney and Keegan Taylor for design.
Henderson noted, “I was inspired by my dad who is a good artist and my grandmother. When I was young my grandmother didn’t have supplies only pencils and crayons, but she drew pictures of all of her grandchildren. I had never done a scholastic show before and I didn’t know what to expect. So I was very surprised when I received a gold key.”
Fleishman received a photography gold and was quite surprised.
She said, “The work I did was a self portrait. I have never won an award before When they told me that I had won I started crying and screaming. I really have to give credit to my mother because she has always told me to ‘go for it’. She is understanding and supportive of what I do and also told me ‘never to waste my talent.’ This is an incredible feeling.”
Taylor was quite humble about receiving a “gold” for his graphic design work.
He said, “I guess it is a good thing. I really didn’t’ think about it until it happened and I was shocked. I really have to thank all of the great teachers who have supported me and worked with me.”
“Silver Key” portfolio recipients included Taylor Braun (photography) and Meghan Mahaney (fine art) while honorable mention portfolio winners were Naomi Greco and Emily Fleischman.
Individual “Silver Key” awards were presented to Chrissy Abare (two for photography), Taylor Braun (two for drawing) and Drake Becksted (design), Austin DeMott (digital art), Paige Hart (design), Megan Mahaney (drawing), Avriana Follet (jewelry) and Patricia Talamo (photography and jewelry).
Abare has earned a “gold key” in this competition in the past, but this year she continued to be recognized with two silver awards. She said, “Everything influences me, animals, people…everything.”
Demott was another student who was recognized at scholastics last year. This time he once again showed his talent. He said, “I have been influenced by my dad who is an art teacher at SUNY Oswego and by Mrs. Martin (OHS art teacher) as she really motivates me. I’ve always liked art and my dad has worked with me since I was young in providing assistance.”
This year’s honorable mentions included Chrissy Abare, Taylor Braun, Emily Fleischman, Ashley Pitters and Patricia Talamo for photography, Naomi Greco for printmaking, Michelle Hannock (design) and Eve Simmonds (drawing).
Portfolios include eighth separate pieces and it was noted, “These are done in a semester or two. A portfolio is built over time with blood, sweat and tears.”
In relation to the gold she received in jewelry Allen noted, “Making jewelry is something that I enjoy doing and it is something I did even before taking the class. It is just something I wanted to do. I was surprised at receiving a gold key. I didn’t know it was such a big deal, but it was.” Allen indicated that “my imagination” is what inspires me” when creating a new piece of jewelry.
Coty, another gold key recipient for jewelry, said, “My piece was inspired by nature and trees. My work involved my feelings.”
Talamo earned awards in jewelry and photography. She said, “My parents and teachers inspire me. My dad used to do a little photography so I became interested and my mom supports us all in every way possible and supports me in everything I do.”
Follet noted, “I was very surprised as this is the first piece I made that had been sent anywhere or received an award. It wasn’t the standard I wanted it to be. I really have to thank my mamma and Mrs. V (Van Waldick) for their endless support.”
Art teacher Stacey Van Waldrik, who conducts the jewelry classes, noted, “We don’t have a huge metalsmithing facility, we have a restrictive budget and there are limitations to what we can do. However, it is amazing at what our students have achieved and the pieces they create on a regular basis.”
Melissa Martin was quite proud of the Oswego students and noted, “You can see a lot of these kids have strong parental influences that support the arts. They have supported the kids all the way through. It was an amazing year for Oswego High School as our students are among the best in all artistic areas.”
The students and teachers all enjoyed the awards ceremony, but it was a little more special for Martin as her seventh grade daughter, who is a student at Red Creek Central, Sarah Martin earned two “gold key” for drawing in the seventh and eighth grade categories.