Sunday, April 8, 2012
By Elise Franco
Canfield High School is teeming with talented artists.
Artwork from three students was chosen for display in state and national competitions this school year.
Junior Marisa DeSanto and senior Elise Huzjak are both medal winners in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a national competition judged by panels of professional artists and writers.
Of the hundreds of thousands of pieces submitted, only 1,500 are selected to be honored with a national medal, Canfield High School art teacher Kevin Hoopes said.
Hoopes said he and DeSanto had several discussions about what she was trying to communicate through her piece, “Restricted,” which was named an American Visions gold-medal winner.
“Once that was settled, she went right to work and let her drawing skills kick in,” he said. “It’s nice to see good drawing or painting techniques coupled with an interesting, engaging theme or idea.”
DeSanto said “Restricted” is a self-portrait that she never expected to make to the national competition.
“It’s kind of portraying how a person is forced to do things by, I guess, forces you can’t control,” she said. “And you know you’ll never be able to change things, but you try anyway.”
DeSanto said she began dabbling in art when she was young, sketching clothes. “Taking basic art my freshman year really exposed me to everything about painting,” she said.
Hoopes said Huzjak’s skills also are evident in her piece, “Pittsburgh,” which earned a silver medal.
“She’s a very talented painter,” he said. “I’m excited to see how she progresses in her career.”
Huzjak said her painting was copied from a photo of the Pittsburgh skyline that she snapped while visiting the city with her boyfriend.
“We drove to Pittsburgh one day, and the whole feel of the day, the picture pretty much summarizes it,” she said. “I had this photo of it, and it was my favorite one of the day. I really wanted to remember it.”
All of the medal winners, as well as their teachers, will be honored June 1 in New York at Carnegie Hall.
Nathalie McClune, a senior, had two pieces, “Lantern Girl” and “Tea Kettle,” accepted into the Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. Hoopes said she’s the first CHS student with two pieces in the competition at one time.
The exhibit is a statewide competition where 300 pieces out of the more than 12,000 submissions are selected for display at the James A. Rhodes Office Tower in Columbus.
“It is a great opportunity for students to get recognized by local, regional and national schools of art, colleges and universities,” Hoopes said. “That recognition may lead to opportunities for students in terms of networking and scholarships.”
Students will be honored on April 14 in Columbus.
“She is one of those students that you immediately recognize as having talent, support at home, and high expectations of themselves,” Hoopes said of McClune. “Nathalie is good at whatever she attempts.”
Hoopes said McClune also won awards for computer graphics, video production, animation, sculpture and ceramics.
“This is certainly a testament to her talent, skill and versatility,” he said. “We are pleased, as a department, to offer a myriad of experiences for our students, and we love it when students like Nathalie can take full advantage of all we have to offer.”