McGUFFEY — “Just give art a chance,” said Upper Scioto Valley High School senior Laura Bentley.
It worked out for her and classmate, junior Crystal Brown, after Laura received a silver key and Crustal, a gold one, from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
More than 2,830 pieces of artwork were submitted. The judges awarded 273 gold keys, 161 silver keys and 136 honorable mentions.
It was the first year the school entered into the competition said their art teacher, Kelly Wells.
Wells said both girls are extremely hard-working with a unique understanding for art composition. They’re also involved outside the art room as members of the National Honors Society. Laura cheers and participates in various outreach programs, Crystal plays volleyball, basketball and track and is on the quiz bowl team.
When asked who their favorite artist was, both named Van Gogh’s Starry Night. But even if their taste in artists is similar, their artistic process couldn’t be more different.
Crystal, for example, prefers scratch board as shown in her winning piece depicting an Owl. It’s the first scratch board she’s ever done, but certainly not the last.
“A lot of my artwork, the subjects I choose, is very spontaneous,” she said. “I don’t plan to do it. I just have an idea pop up in my head and I go for it.”
Laura’s favorite medium, on the other hand, is colored pencil as shown in her wining piece. It’s a picture of her and her brother, Joseph.
“Most of my art work I do isn’t intended for myself,” she said. “I do it for family members or close friends.”
As a senior, Laura has worked out her plan for college, attending Ohio State University as an Art Scholar studying psychology and minoring in art.
Crytal knows college is on the horizon, as well. Though she’s not sure where exactly she wants to go, she hopes to study something in either science or art, or to combine the two.
As a gold key winner, Crystal’s work will also be considered in the national competition. Her, as well as Laura’s work will be on display at the Regional Awards Ceremony at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Sunday.
“They just have this really unique talent,” Wells said. “It’s hard to describe.”