Busy with the brush

Boonsboro High School freshman wins annual student art contest

Boonsboro High School freshman wins annual student art contest

November 21, 2006|by CHRIS COPLEY

Student artists from a home school, a private school and two public schools were selected as winners in The Herald-Mail's third annual student art contest.

Olivia "Libby" Henry, a freshman at Boonsboro High School, won the best-of-show award for "Pumpkin Girl," a pastel-and-watercolor portrait of herself as a young girl sitting on a pumpkin.

The 16-inch-by-23-inch painting is vibrant with bright color and patterns, from the Halloween images on her blue clothing to the orange pumpkin to the yellow and brown grass in the background.

Libby, 13, said she likes to paint still lifes of flowers and fruit. She also uses old family photos as subjects. Always, she strives to make it more engaging.


"I like the element of texture," Libby said. "I like a lot of things going on in a painting. A lot of times, I'll add a pattern that's not there. Sometimes, I'll ignore color in a subject and add one I want."

Libby said she would like to be a professional artist when she gets older. She has seen what it takes to make and sell art - her mother is local potter Allison Severance of Coles Pottery, which is based at their house near Boonsboro.

Judges in The Herald-Mail contest were Don Viar, South Hagerstown High School art teacher; Ron Lytle, owner of Contemporary School of the Arts and Gallery; and Herald-Mail artist Sis Canfield. The judges looked over student entries at The Herald-Mail building.

In addition to the best-of-show award, judges recognized three other works. Eddie Dorsey's pencil drawing, "Burning Gundam," was named the best drawing. Brian Starner's untitled fabric design was named best painting. Lizi Colliflower's ceramic bust, "Greek Goddess," was named the best of the other entries in the catchall category.

Libby Henry's portrait was praised by judges for its style and technique. Lytle liked the way she filled the paper with the subject.

"She made it large. The whole effect is nice," he said.

"I like the freedom of it, the looseness," Viar said. "Usually, kids work so tight."

Canfield complimented Libby's use of optical blending - the technique of laying color next to color for the eye to blend, rather than blending the paint on the paper.

For her prize, Libby will receive $50 from The Herald-Mail and free framing courtesy of Howard's Art Supplies & Frames.

Eddie Dorsey's colored pencil drawing caught the judges' eye partly because of its presentation; it was framed behind glass. But the quality of Dorsey's work earned him the top prize. Canfield said she was familiar with Gundams - giant robots from a Japanese children's show that spun off a line of toys.

"(My son) Josh had a model you could put together," Canfield said. "It looks like every piece is here (in the drawing)."

Dorsey, an 18-year-old senior at Saint James School, used to be a big Gundams fan.

"When I was in the eighth grade, I watched the show," he said. He said he used to draw the robots, but then grew out of it. Recently, inspiration drove him to draw a Gundam again. His drawing was picked from among 14 drawings entered in the contest.

Lizi Colliflower, 16, is a home-schooler living in Falling Waters, W.Va. She said her 5-inch-tall sculpture was one of the first pieces she has made with clay.

"I love to express myself through art," she said. "I do all sorts of things, but mostly I like drawing."

The painting by Brian Starner, a 16-year-old sophomore at South Hagerstown High School, is an enlarged fabric sample he painted for art class at school. He said he doesn't paint or draw much - this is his first art class - but he likes the freedom of art.

"I like it because it's not that hard," he said. "We get to pick out what we want to do."

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