This year, Stuyvesant students won 72 awards for Scholastic Art Awards. Out of these awards, 19 Gold Keys were given to the outstanding pieces of art. Some of the Gold-Key-winning works of art are featured here.
Joanne Chui: Urbanization (Mixed Media)
Senior Joanne Chui’s mixed media piece, “Urbanization,” depicts humanity’s encroachment on and exploitation of the environment. Through this piece, Chui wanted to bridge the gap between society’s actions and their impact on the environment. She incorporated a subway car because, for her, that symbolizes urbanization. She hoped that this piece would show the negative effect of our actions on the environment and lessen the indifference that is often felt on the matter.
Katherine Jin: Summer Melon (Painting)
Senior Katherine Jin is a Scholastic veteran, having submitted every other year since eighth grade. Though Jin says that she first started submitting to Scholastic for reasons that felt egotistical, the competition is actually what gave her the push to start creating more art; in the process, it made her more creative, reflective, and compassionate. Jin’s tried-and-true mediums are graphite and colored pencil, but this year, Jin decided to try her hand at painting. Her favorite piece that came out of this experiment, “Summer Melon,” was one of the first paintings she ever made that she felt proud of. It depicts a boy on a hot summer day, eating a watermelon slice. Basing the painting on a photo, she started off with a clear image of the finished product already in her mind. Jin’s goal was to try and capture the innocence and happiness that the photo radiated.
Kofi Lee Berman: Threads (Photography)
Senior Kofi Lee Berman’s photograph, “Threads,” is a zoomed-in snapshot of an old man collecting dozens of threads together between his thumb and index finger. Berman captured this moment in a sari factory in Kasaragod, a town in Kerala, India. The old man working in the factory did not think his everyday activity was anything out of the ordinary, but Berman was able to see the beauty in it. In contrast with Berman’s other photographs, this unorthodox portrait contains an almost tangible sense of human intimacy.
Mika Simoncelli: Lifted (Photography)
Junior Mika Simoncelli’s photograph, “Lifted,” depicts a girl on a swing set, captured in mid-air. What makes the photo special for Simoncelli is the dramatic late afternoon lighting. There was a single patch of light that the girl kept swinging into, illuminating her for a split second each time she swung. Simoncelli found the procession mesmerizing and decided to capture the fleeting moment of illumination.
Maiko Sein: The City (Illustration)
Junior Maiko Sein’s ink illustration, “The City,” depicts the cityscape from a bird’s eye view. She created it while looking out from the eighth floor window of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building. However, despite the fact that it looks like it respects the longitude and latitude of the city, nothing is aligned or straight. Sein included both the major aspects of what she saw: the lines of buildings and intersections. She also incorporated the minor details—potholes, the tops of cars, people, and trees—to create an image that captures the true ambiance of New York City.
Anaïs Real: Queen of Fruits (Drawing and Illustration)
Freshman Anaïs Real’s illustration, “Queen of Fruits,” depicts exotic mangosteens with popping colors and a clear attention to accuracy. This deep blue and purple fruit is very common in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, the home of her extended family. Real drew the beauty she saw in the fruit and wanted to capture how easily it caught her eye. She later discovered that the nickname for mangosteens was “Queen of Fruits,” and the title of her work was born. Real reflects on how she saw a lot of dust on the fruit, but instead of seeing this as an outright flaw, she labeled it as a minor impurity that obscured the beauty of life.
Other Gold Key Recipients:
Yoonseng Cho: Colorblock (Painting) and Source (Drawing and Illustration)
Seungjoo Lee: Facades (Painting)
Cheryl Qian: Betty and I (Painting), Of The Other World (Painting), and Solitude (Painting)
Katherine Pan: Upside Down (Mixed Media)