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Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

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Pushing the palette in art and writing

Several WEGO students were recognized at the Scholastic Art and Writing awards at a recent reception at Gallery 200.
This+watercolor+painting+done+by+Jessica+Martinez+Garcia+got+an+honorable+mention.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Jessica+Martinez+Garcia%29.+%0A
This watercolor painting done by Jessica Martinez Garcia got an honorable mention. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Martinez Garcia).

West Chicago Community High School’s art department is celebrating several recent wins in competition, as well as the opening of the annual student art show at Gallery 200 this April.

The art show, which opened April 4, highlights the talents of students at all grade levels, and in multiple mediums. A reception was held at the gallery, during which the winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing competition were honored.

Another design by Logan Reed that won gold in the digital comic category. (Photo courtesy of Logan Reed).

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are a nonprofit organization dedicated to highlighting remarkably artistic and literary talented art made by students through programs and publications. The Alliance offers programs to students providing the opportunity to present their hard artwork through awards, exhibitions as well as scholarships.

This year, junior Logan Reed won a Gold and Silver Key in the categories of Digital Comic (“paleolithic winter”) and Digital Photography (“Industrial Batavia”), senior Itzel Carrasco took home a Silver Key for her acrylic painting titled “Antiques and Flowers”, and junior Jessica Martinez Garcia likewise received an honorable mention in watercolor painting (“The Magical Tree of Dreamland”).

In the digital photography category, Logan Reed entered this photo of industrial Batavia and it was a silver key winner. (Photo courtesy of Logan Reed).

Over 300,000 original works were entered across the United States and Canada in 2023. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards also allow artists to take feedback and ultimately open their views to other artists.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are open to many students around the United States and Canada. Many students who wish to take the next step in their artistic career sign up for the opportunity to obtain recognition and a scholarship. The organization provides students with programs like its Summer Scholarship, where students attend a summer Art and Writing program on a full-tuition scholarship. This program selects previous competitors to receive an SAS Scholarship; where they are placed in a program specifically to improve and learn skills.

“A lot of times when you’re an art student and you’re just doing your thing here in the building, maybe it gets shown in the hall. People, teachers, students, [and] faculty might notice it; but Scholastic is much more like a wide program dedicated to art. It’s just a way to celebrate those students that deserve it, and might not normally get any recognition for their work or recognition might be very small,” art teacher Suzanne Richardson said.

Itzel Carrasco entered this Silver Key winner in the acrylic painting category. (Photo courtesy of Itzel Carrasco).

For WEGO students, the show is an opportunity to have their work critiqued as well.

“You have to be able to deal with the criticism your teachers give you in order to do good in the competition. You also will have to understand you might not get anything depending on how many people submit an artwork in that category,” Reed said.

Scholastic is seen as a great opportunity to obtain that recognition and ultimate feedback to meet artistic personal goals.

“They need to work on being comfortable with getting feedback from others about their work and be comfortable with saying ‘my teacher said that this looks good, but this I need to work on… I’m not going to say I’m done just because I’m done,” Richardson said.

The competition arrived just before of the Upstate Eight art show, held on March 4. WEGO sent several attendees, including art teachers Megan Dulkinys and Richardson, seniors Ruben Coss, Itzel Carrasco, and Mildred Vargas Morales; juniors Martinez Garcia, Brektti Hernandez, and Reed; sophomores Marlene Perez and Grecia Salazar; and freshman Sabrina Anderson.

“I got to see a lot of different artists and their pieces,” Carrasco said of the event, which brought together students from WCCHS, Bartlett, East Aurora, Larkin, Fenton, Glenbard East and South, Elgin, South Elgin, and Streamwood.

There, Reed received first place in digital photography for his image of “Industrial Batavia”, and Carrasco placed third in painting with “Antiques and Flowers”. Vargas Morales also received an honorable mention for her drawing, “Being Me”.

All the award-winning pieces – and many more works of art created by WEGO students – are on display at Gallery 200 at 103 W. Washington Street in West Chicago until April 26.

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About the Contributor
Gabriella Castro
Gabriella Castro, Reporter
Introducing Gabriela Castro, a sophomore from West Chicago  who, up until this year, had an extensive music career. She was involved in music throughout middle school, and participated in orchestra for eight years, but decided to take a break this year, and is now focusing on other interests. Gabriella loves animals, and has a collection of four dogs, one cat, 12 birds (yes, 12!), and three snakes. Gabriella is not sure yet what she wants to do when she graduates high school, but she knows she would like to be independent, and have her own apartment. 
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