Monthly Archives: July 2015

Featured Student Artist: Colin Abbott


Colin 001Colin was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Fall 2014 national art contest for his piece, “My House at Night.” At the time of publication, Colin was a second grader attending Hopewell Elementary School in Iowa.

Colin participated in an art contest sponsored by VSA or Very Special Arts.  This is an opportunity that was initiated through the Kennedy family for children and people with special needs.  Colin was born with a visual impairment.  He has also been diagnosed with autism.  Colin is a very unique student in that he is very sensitive to smells and textures.  Through his art lessons, he explores textures.  He created all of his artwork based on texture.  The colors he chooses are communicated to him based on a emotion that they represent.  For example, red is exciting.  Green is calm.  Colin created the artwork for the “I Am” contest and was selected to have his artwork displayed at the Department of Education.  The artwork chosen for Celebrating Art was the second piece he created in the texture series.  Colin works very slowly and takes a great deal of time to complete these projects.

art-num-14169624281611177To learn more about our national art contests, visit


Featured Student Artist: Mechelle Chen


IMG_0064Mechelle was an eighth grader at Five Forks Middle School in Georgia when her art, “Calm Lake“, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Fall 2014 national art contest. Mechelle studies art at First Fine Art & Design Academy.

In her spare time, Mechelle plays the piano, the violin, and loves playing softball. She also enjoys reading any kind of book as long as it’s not non-fiction.

“I’ve always loved ponds and lakes and any sources of water.” Mechelle explains what inspired her winning art, “To me, I feel water is magical. I really love to use acrylic but I love drawing with color pencils more.”

In the future, Mechelle wants to become a doctor. art-num-1339679909pas

To learn more about our national student art contests, visit

Featured Student Artist: Jessica Zou


JessicaZou_1Jessica Zou just completed her sophomore year attending Westview High School in San Diego, California. “Splashing Beauty” was a piece that she created freshman year in her high school art class. This piece was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Fall 2014 national art contest. “For as long as I can remember, I have always felt inexplicably drawn to anything hands-on or art related.” Jessica explains, “I found art fascinating. I could express complete ideas and thoughts without any words or sounds.”

Jessica goes on to explain what helped inspire her art. “A portion of my inspiration for this piece, ‘Splashing Beauty‘, came from the wonderful Laurie Rubin. Ms. Rubin’s amazing animal photography inspired me and motivated me to try and express the liveliness and energy that animals contain. The other portion of my inspiration came from my daily life. I believe that life should contain a balance of opposite things that work together like yin and yang. Whether it be art and science or in this case calmness (control) and motion (change) I found that my life needs a mixture of both. Thus, I also wanted to try and convey a calm and serene feeling working in harmony with the splashing motion. This specific concept and piece was very challenging as it tested my overall ability to control the feeling of the piece as well as my senses of motion, color, and detail; but in the end finishing the piece was all the more rewarding.”

In the future, Jessica is not sure if she will major in art, but art has always been her passion. This passion has stayed with her through elementary, middle, and now high school, and she has a hunch that it will continue to stay with her throughout her entire life.