The creativity of students at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School has made a big impression on the mainland, and they have the awards to prove it.
Senior Hannah Marlin’s photography portfolio has garnered national attention for the young artist, one of only 20 students nationwide to receive a merit award for photography from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts senior portfolio program. The award came with a cash prize of $100.
Last year, Ms. Marlin’s artwork won her a Silver Key award from the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards. Her interests go beyond two-dimensional forms: she is also involved in dance, and is a part of the high school’s Minnesingers chorus.
Freshman Katherine Smith gained recognition from the Photography and Imaging Education Association for an individual image; a black and white digital photograph of a young woman’s shadowed face. The award-winning piece is now a part of an international touring exhibit.
This year’s crop of high school artists have earned several Gold Key awards from the Globe competition.
“[They are] competing with thousands and thousands of pieces from across Massachusetts,” said high school visual arts department chairman Paul Brissette of the Globe competition, adding that the high school usually comes out each year with a disproportionately large number of awards, despite being one of the smallest schools in the statewide competition.
Senior Brianna Buchanan was awarded a Gold Key for her entire art portfolio, while junior Evan Eagan earned the award for a photograph, titled Gunpowder Treason, and freshman Fionnuala Howell also won for a photo, Among the Pebbles.
Senior Clarissa Murphy won the Gold Key with an architectural design for an underground house. According to Mr. Brissette, Ms. Murphy blossomed somewhat suddenly in architecture last year. “She took my class and just thrived, and loved it,” he said. She now plans to study architecture at college in the fall.
Sophomore Caitlin Serpa earned a Silver Key for her painting of sliced fruit. All Gold and Silver Key-winning artwork will be displayed in Boston’s transportation building through March 20.
Two students received honorable mention at the Globe awards: junior Vivian Ewing for her digital art, and freshman Olivia Becchio for her photograph, Masks Off.
Mr. Brissette said that overall, the artwork submitted this year was outstanding, particularly that of the underclassmen. “We really felt some of the younger students particularly were really strong in photography and drawing. I was surprised we didn’t get more awards,” he said.
The high school’s annual student literary magazine Sea Breezes was a first-time winner of the highest award from the Massachusetts Council of Teachers of English. Featuring writing, poetry, and visual artwork, the publication is produced by students in the visual arts and English departments.
Mr. Brissette gives the Vineyard community a great deal of credit for nurturing its young artists. “In general, I feel we’re very lucky. Our community supports the arts,” he said. “We’re just trying to create a visual literacy for these students because it’s such a visual world now[and] there is a payoff.”