The Future of Art
Langley Art Students Achieve Success at the Scholastic Competition
March 9, 2017
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At Langley High School, where the pressure to do well in the academic sphere is a constant burden that weighs on many students, many often overlook the talent within Langley’s art program, instead focusing on the successes of students in core subjects and languages. However, in February, two Langley juniors, Anya McKee and Zach Thompson won Gold Key awards at the Scholastic Art and Writing regional competition: one of the most prestigious art awards for high school art students throughout the country.
“I was really surprised that I won anything, let alone a Gold Key, since this is a large competition with many extremely talented competitors,” said McKee. “Winning this award and attending the ceremony was an incredibly inspiring experience and I look forward to creating and more and pushing my boundaries in art.”
McKee won her Gold Key for her piece “Submerged”, which is an acrylic self portrait of herself underwater. Thompson, who also won a Gold Key, did so through his linocut print entitled “Faceless”, which he made in order to send a message to society.
“The subject is an unnamed homeless man, which I made to demonstrate how society views success versus failure and our clear image of both of those concepts. By intricately carving his wrinkles and features, I hopped to instill beauty in something that isn’t usually considered beautiful,” said Thompson.
For many students at Langley, the crushing pressure to do well stifles creativity and discourages for-fun artwork. However, for both Thompson and Mckee, their passion for art provides is an outlet for their creativity.
“Since before I can remember, art has been my passion and main path in life. I really hope to open my horizons to other forms of art as I prepare my college portfolio. In college, I want to major in graphic design because I really enjoy working with others and creating for an audience, which art allows me to do,” said McKee.
Thompson, who also wants to pursue art in the future has a message for Langley students, many of whom misunderstand art.
According to Thompson, “being able to do something creative is really important to me, so going to art school is an obvious choice. There’s a definite negative stereotype around art as a career, and while there may be some truth in that, people often don’t understand the many ways art adds to the world, both as a cultural force and a practical tool. I hope to remind people of that as a move forward in art.”