By Chloe Drescher
Jamesville-DeWitt High School has gotten a lot of recognition, especially because of the hard work of their students. Whether it’s for sports, academics, or creative outlets like the Scholastic Awards and the music department, J-DHS students’ hard work has clearly paid off. Two seniors, Morgan Gunther and Nicole Tanquary, have continued this recognition. Both moved on to the national level after submitting and winning medals in the Scholastic Art Awards.
“To be recognized at that level, it first has to get a gold medal here,” says art teacher Carlos Benedict. “I was honestly shocked when I found out that my piece was chosen for a national award,” says Gunther. She adds that although she is very excited, she was surprised because even though she worked hard on it, she didn’t think it was her best piece. Tanquary agrees with Gunther in that she was shocked as well. “I hadn’t really given the piece a thought after the regional level of Scholastic awards, never having gotten to national level before,” Tanquary says.
Gunther and Tanquary were inspired to make these pieces in different ways. “I had taken some photographs of my favorite converse shoes and I liked the way they looked, so I decided to draw them in colored pencil,” says Gunther. Tanquary’s graphite drawing is of her sister. She drew this picture to let her sister know that even though she is leaving for college, no matter what, she loves her. “Going to college is going to be hard on my sister, so I wanted to make her a memento,” she says.
“We have had many pieces move on into the national level throughout the years,” says art teacher Carlos Benedict. He adds that in a previous year five pieces from J-DHS made it to the national level. Benedict is sometimes surprised that other pieces aren’t recognized at a national level.
Both portraits took a while for Gunther and Tanquary to finish. It took Tanquary and Gunther half a year of work to make sure it was perfect. “I first took the picture in photography class freshman year and started to work on it in art junior year,” Tanquary says. “It took me awhile to finish because I’m a slow worker, but I guess it paid off in the end,” says Gunther.