Students Take Home Scholastics Arts Awards


Jerry Sheng ’20

Jerry Sheng ’20 ’s Santa’s Real Helpers won Gold Key in the Connecticut region.

Students’ success in the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards once again made the school one of the most decorated in the state.
Established in 1923, the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards seek to recognize middle and high school student artists and writers demonstrating exceptional vision, ingenuity, and talent. This year, students received fifteen artistic awards from the Connecticut division, including three Hartford Art Scholarships, eight gold keys, six silver keys, and one honorable mention.
Drawing her inspiration from last year’s Audubon exhibition in the Tremaine Gallery and the wildfires in the Amazon, Olivia Mooney ’21 created her art piece, “Amazon Burning,” which received a silver key in the Drawing and Illustration category. Mooney said, “Instead of making [my drawing] two-dimensional, I rendered pieces of floras and leaves, cut them into the precise shapes, and layered them on top of each other to create a stronger illusion of depth. The placement of the leaves is arranged so that they ‘pop’ out of the frame, creating an ‘open’ effect, which would help make my piece more engaging and inviting.”
Mooney utilized an uncommon tool – fire – to burn the edges of her flower drawings. She said, “This is not only a very literal interpretation of [the] Amazon fire, but it also gifted my leaves with more natural and organic silhouettes.”
Jacqui Rice ’20, a two-time recipient of Scholastics Awards, received a Silver Key and the Hartford Art Scholarship this year for her portfolio, “Figurative Concentration Series.” Rice explained, “I was first inspired to create this series when I was making pressed flowers back home in California.”
Rice’s contours of female figures, supported by a layer of ink wash, are overlaid with real flowers. She said, “I tried to capture the essence of the figures with loose and expressive mark-making. It was important to me that they captured the fluid and organic quality that resonates with the rest of my drawings.”
Mr. J. Bradley Faus, program director of art and instructor of several award-winning students, is delighted by the results. He said, “We’ve confidently expected these results, but it always makes me proud to hear the actual announcements. Winning the Scholastics Awards is a reflection of Hotchkiss artists’ outstanding talents and remarkable skills.”
The Gold Key winners of the Connecticut region will advance to the Scholastics national exhibition in New York City, where national-level awards and special contribution awards will be announced in March.