On Dec. 6, art teacher Ms. MaryKate Hannah announced that two students, senior Sierra Faish and junior Bethany Jackson, won a competition for young artists. They were chosen by a jury of the Maryland Art Education Association (MAEA) to have their artwork displayed at the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Art Gallery and the Walters Art Museum, respectively.
Sierra Faish’s painting, “Golden Girl,” is a portrait of herself, created using cut-up paper, metallic watercolors, acrylic paint, colored pencils, black ink, pen, and magazine scraps.
“I deconstructed my figure and separated the hands, replacing the arms with snakes on opposite positions of the artwork,” stated Faish. “The photo reference I used of my face was from culture fest, and I think I drew a lot of inspiration from that. It made me think about what I could do differently, and as I started creating my piece, I felt an Egyptian vibe.”
Faish said she had not intended for the piece to have a deeper meaning behind it, which, according to her, is rare for her artwork. “Golden Girl” was created as a way of experimenting with various media and art styles.
Faish said, “[It was] really nice to create a piece without having to think of a deep meaning, or having to force the artwork to have a deeper meaning. That’s what I like about not giving pieces an explicit message. It lets the reader make of the piece what they will, and that openness of interpretation is one of my favorite things about art. ”
Jackson’s painting, which is unnamed, is a drawing of a cardboard sculpture made by her in 2017.
Jackson explained that she used “both dark and light charcoal and focused on the extreme shadows and highlights of the sculpture,” she said.
Ms. Hannah aided Jackson with her piece by providing tips as to how she could improve her charcoal-drawing skills. Jackson also received advice from her peers who were working on similar projects.
Like Faish, Jackson did not intend for the drawing to have a deeper message, but was rather doing it as “a chance to experiment with different art media and practice observational skills,” she said.
Both students expressed their gratification and how happy they were to have their art be recognized and shown to the public.
“It feels really good to have my artwork be recognized,” said Jackson. “I’m glad to know that people appreciate my art.”
Jackson’s painting was displayed at the Walters Art Museum from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, while Faish’s will be at the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Art Gallery until May 2019.