SJA Students Honored in Vermont Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Award winning student art
February 2, 2018

Left top photo: Junior Zhengyi Zou from China won a Gold Key in Painting for Inkbottle; left bottom photo: Senior Rachel Fickes from Peacham won a Gold Key in Sculpture for Predatory Flower Bed; middle photo: Senior Yihan Hu from China won a Gold Key in Drawing and Illustration for Tower and Red Sun; right photo: Senior Azariah Thoma from West Danville won a Gold Key in Mixed Media for Dancers.

St. Johnsbury Academy Fine Arts students won a total of 35 regional art awards in this year’s Scholastic Art and Writing competition. A total of 15 students won awards for their work in Printmaking, Photography, Drawing and Illustration, Painting, Sculpture, Design, or for their Art Portfolios. They received 10 Gold Keys, nine Silver Keys, and 17 Honorable Mentions. The work winning regional Gold Keys will be judged at the national level of the competition.


Gold Keys were awarded to Senior Marion Ely of St. Johnsbury in Photography for Forest Sprite and The Lovers, which was also nominated for an American Visions award; Senior Rachel Fickes of Peacham for her sculpture Predatory Flowerbed, which was also nominated for an American Visions award; senior Yihan Hu from China in Drawing and Illustration for Soup Bowl and Tower and Red Sun; junior Mary Moreno of St. Johnsbury in Photography for Look Up; Senior Patrick Nkubito from Rwanda in Drawing and Illustration for Wisdom and in Painting for First Oil Painting, which was also nominated for an American Visions award; Senior Azariah Thoma of West Danville in Mixed Media for Dancers; and junior Zhengyi Zou from China, for Ink Bottle.


Silver Keys were awarded to Marion Ely in Photography for Dreaming; senior Emily Kline in Mixed Media for Hand-Colored Graffiti Book; senior Yinuo Ma from China in Drawing and Illustration for Free and Door; junior Katie Neuharth of Barnet in Photography for Remnants of the Day; senior Hannah Pandya of East Montpelier for her Art Portfolio, In Search of Grace, and in Photography for A Lost Goddess; and Zhijin Yang in Drawing and Illustration for Bicycle, and in Painting for Flowers.


Honorable Mentions were awarded to junior Mason Castle of East Hardwick in Photography for Morning Euphoria; senior Anhkim Dang of St. Johnsbury for his Art Portfolio and in Printmaking for Night Light; junior Zachary Fucci of Waterford in Photography for Social Anxiety; Yihan Hu in Drawing and Illustration for Flying Fish, Drinking Juice in Bed, Claw Machine, and Pac Man; Yinuo Ma in Design for Threshold, Mary Moreno in Photography for Fed; Patrick Nkubito in Painting for Emotions and in Drawing and Illustration for Patrick; Hannah Pandya in Photography for Self-Reflection; Azariah Thoma in Painting for Rainy Day; and Zhengyi Zou in Painting for Cicada with Flowers and Beijing’s Courtyard and in Printmaking for Moon Rabbit.


Acting Head of the Fine Arts department Janet Warner-Ashley said, “Our teaching artists inspire and mentor these young budding talents with patience and care, but it is each young artist who must then spend countless hours developing an idea, wrestling with his or her chosen media, and then revising and reflecting before submitting their piece of art. The Charles Hosmer Morse Center for the Arts is alive with energy day and night as artists from all disciplines work at their crafts. Many more students entered the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards with many more beautiful works of art, but it was these chosen few who were recognized and honored. All of us in the Fine Arts department could not be more pleased and proud of every one of our artists.”


Headmaster Tom Lovett said, “To have 15 students honored in a state competition of any kind is a tremendous achievement, and to have so many honors in a creative competition is even more impressive. Our arts faculty can inspire such excellence because they themselves are professional artists. They understand the creative process, hard work, and revision that go into creating great works of art. So, while we are extremely proud of the accomplishments of these students, we are equally proud of the excellence of our faculty.”


Students’ award-winning work is on exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center from February 17 through March 10, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. An awards ceremony honoring the artists will take place on Saturday, March 10 at 12:00 p.m.

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