Tag Archives: arts

Featured Student Artist: Patricia Fuentes



Patricia Fuentes is a senior in the Visual Arts program at Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Maryland.  Her art, “Balance Tower“, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in the Fall 2012 national art contest for students in grades K-12.  This means that Patricia’s art was once of the ten best submitted in her age division from the United States and Canada.

DSC01757During her four years at Carver Center for Arts and Technology, Patricia has experienced a variety of mediums of art from photography to painting, drawing, and sculpture.

Architecture has a big influence on Patricia’s artwork. “My favorite medium is sculpture because I am fascinated with ability to transition my ideas into a 3D form that people can walk around and appreciate from all angles.” Patricia states. “Since I plan on becoming an architect, a lot of my artwork is inspired by architecture and architects I look up to, such as Antoni Gaudi and Frank Gehry.”

To learn more about our national art contest, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

Great Artists Take Risks


220px-Nick_cave Recently I attended an on stage interview of Nick Cave who is a performance artist that is the director of the graduate fashion program at School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Nick has traveled throughout the world showing his creations that mix art with performance.  There are many Youtube links to see the fantastic things he has done.  Take a look.  He is now world famous for his creations.  They are unique.  After the interview they opened up the audience to questions.  I asked Nick if there was any trepidation to his emerging with this new medium.  His reply was that for a while he created his art and they stayed in his apartment.  Then bit by bit he shared it with others and a new art form emerged for which he is famous. There was risk involved.

shapeimage_3In thinking of the students who participate in our contests and the thousands of other artists or poets who don’t send in their work, I realize there is always a risk in sharing your work with others.  “What if they think my work isn’t good?”  “What if they laugh at me?”  Yes, there is always that possibility.  However, there is always the possibility of being accepted to be published and people thinking “Wow.  Their work is great.”  No risk…no gain.  Nick Cave could have hid his work in fear of what others would think.  Instead he shared it and is loved throughout the world.  I think all art has an element of risk.  Take a chance.  Share it with the world.

—Tom Worthen, Ph.D., Editor

To learn more about our national art contests, visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

To learn more about our national writing contests, visit www.PoeticPower.com.

Featured Student Artist: Kayleigh Semeniuk


art-num-341835624as Art has always been a part of Kayleigh’s life.  At age three she was drawing circles instead of the squiggly lines more commonly seen in a young child’s artwork.  By the time she was eleven she was taking lessons with a fantastic realism artist, Tami Hort.  What she thought would be one year of lessons turned into four years of one-on-one teaching as Tami guided her through many different forms of art; including acrylics, oils, watercolors, and pastels, plus a rather unsuccessful but nevertheless entertaining attempt at clay sculpture.

Kayleigh took home her first award when she was only thirteen.  This award came from an international contest called the Calgary Stampede’s Western Showcase.  After this win, Kayleigh knew she could make it in the art world.  Art was no longer just a hobby.

After her family moved Kayleigh could no longer continue lessons with Tami, so Kayleigh set on a journey to discover a style of her own.  In recent years Kayleigh has come to realize her love for drawing the human face.  Actors, musicians, hockey players; Kayleigh thrives on the challenge of capturing a person’s likeness on paper.

One of Kayleigh’s most recent victories was being announced as a Top Ten Winner in the Summer 2012 national art contest.  Her piece, “Lost in a Senator’s Thoughts“, was chosen out of thousands of entries as one of the ten best in the United States and Canada.  Her inspiration for this piece came about by a friend.

8132552“I had drawn Padmè Amidala from the movie Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones back in 2010, and while the finished drawing was ok, I knew I’d want to do another one in a few years.” Kayleigh explains, “So when my friend asked if could I draw Padmè for him, I took the chance to do another attempt at her, never thinking that it may end up being a winning piece. My friends and family inspire me to keep on drawing. Without them, like friends who request drawings, I’d have a hard time picking up a pencil and put as many hours as I do into my artwork.”

Kayleigh’s plans for the future include going to CATO (a digital arts school) where she wants to graduate with a graphic design degree, and combine digital art with traditional.  She also wants to eventually meet the band U2 and present the members with drawings.  Her most important goal is for her relationship with God to grow deeper, her walk with Him longer and stronger, and to paint things of the Kingdom.

To view Kayleigh’s website, visit http://artismygift.weebly.com/.To view Kayleigh’s Fine Art America page, visit here.

To learn more about our national art contests, go to www.CelebratingArt.com.

Featured Student Artist: Jillian Cai



Fourteen-year-old Jillian Cai studies art at Xiangbin Art Center in Illinois.  Her piece, “A Blush in the Blue“, was selected as a Top Ten Winner for our Summer 2012 art contest.  This means that Jillian’s art was one of the ten best pieces submitted in her age category.

celebrating artsJillian has been taking art lessons for about three years, and in that time she has really grown to love it.  She is also part of a dance company and enjoys dancing in her spare time.

In reference to her painting, Jillian explains, “‘Blush in the Blue’ was originally going to be just another ordinary landscape. That is, as ordinary as any painting can get, but then I saw a beautiful picture of bright pink flamingos, with the cool blue lake in the background. I knew that I wanted to make this the main point of my painting. The flamingos became the blush of pink the blue of the lake and surroundings.”

Jillian’s future plans include having a job that is art-related.  In the mean time, she is going to continue learning so that she can hone her technique to create better pieces of art and continue to improve as an artist.

To learn more about our national art contests, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

Featured Student Artist: Cecelia Grant



Cecelia is in the ninth grade and takes private art classes in Pennsylvania.  Her art, “Celie’s World”, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in the Summer 2012 national art contest .  This contest is held for students in grades K-12 living in the United States and Canada.


Cecelia has always loved art.  She started taking art classes when she was six years old, but has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil.  “I always used to spend more time making sure the colors were right than painting the pictures,” Cecelia explains. “I created this piece at an art camp at my school over the summer of 2012. We cut the pieces for the collage out of magazines to find the right colors and textures for the pictures we were creating.  The idea for my piece evolved from the things that I love. I put old negatives to represent movies, I have sea shells hidden at the bottom of the hair for the shore, and you can even spot butterflies and the world along with many other trinkets in my portrait.”

Cecelia plans for the future include graduating from college and finding a nice job in an artistic career.

To learn more about our national art contests, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

Featured Student Artist: Anastasia Golyakova



Anastasia Golyakova is in 8th grade and attends Enterprise Middle School in Washington.  She moved from St. Petersburg, Russia to the United States when she was ten years old.  Her art, “Apples”, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Summer 2012 national art contest.  This contest is held for any student in grades K-12 living in the United States or Canada.  Out of hundreds of art pieces received, Anastasia’s art was chosen as one of the ten best in her age division.

AnastasiaThe idea to draw such an ordinary yet beautiful fruit as the apple seems to be very natural for a Washington resident where the apple is the official state fruit.  It is also Anastasia’s most favorite fruit to eat. Anastasia enjoys painting using any medium, but her most favorite technique by far is watercolor, which is what she used to create her “Apples” artwork.

In the future, Anastasia wants to pursue a career involving architecture or engineering to create not only two- but also three-dimensional art pieces.

To learn more about our national art contests, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

Featured Student Artist: Andie Zou


Only in first grade, Andie Zou attends Step by Step Homeschool in New Jersey.  Andie’s art, “The Love of Papa Seahorse“, was one of ten winning pieces selected for the Summer 2012 art contest.  This means that Andie had one of the best entries for her age division out of hundreds that were submitted for the summer contest.

Andie describes herself as a “happy homeschooler.”  She loves animals and discovering new things.  When asked what inspired her art, Andie replied, “I was inspired by papa sea horse because it is papa sea horse who gives birth to baby sea horses. So, I drew ‘The Love of Papa Sea Horse’ for my dad on the last Father’s Day.”

Andie’s plans for the future include drawing many animal pictures and trying to sell them to raise money to help endangered animals.

To learn more about our national art contests, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

Featured Student Artist: Natalie Plourde


Sixth grader Natalie Plourde studies weekly with artist Lisa G. Bailey.  She lives with her parents and two cats while attending Miscoe Hill Middle School in Mendon, Massachusetts.  This summer, Natalie was chosen as a Top Ten Winner in our national art contest.  This recognition puts Natalie’s art as one of the ten best in her age division out of hundreds submitted for the contest.

Natalie has had a passion for creating great art ever since she was a baby who picked up some chunky crayons to color on the living room wall.  She is now an eleven-year-old who captures her art on paper and canvas, but hasn’t ruled out those walls.  She is planning a mural for her bedroom.  Summer 2012  was her first time entering a CelebratingArt contest.

Natalie loves to create digital art on her computer and paint with watercolors, but her favorite medium is simply sketching with pencil.  She composed her winning piece, “Cat Scratch” as a Scratch Art assignment during July 2012 as a student at Nipmuc Art Academy, a summer program through her local public school.

In addition to her art studies, Natalie is a competitive figure skater who plays the violin.  Her plans for the future include teaching skating lessons while she goes to college to study art.  She also dreams of one day being an animator.

To learn more about our national art contests, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

The Arts Are Essential


Normally, a blog is the words of the blogger, but today, I wanted to share the words of the President of Cornell University.  You can read the full article here.

Image“As president of a large research university that received 33,000 applications for 3,050 places in the fall freshman class, I’m often asked by parents of students in high school, middle school — and even those in preschool — what their children should study in the K-12 years to increase their chances of admission to college. I dutifully affirm the conventional wisdom: Take the most challenging courses in core academic disciplines like English, languages, history, math, and science for the required number of years, participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer…

Then I put in a plea for taking time to explore the humanities and arts in all their varied dimensions — visual and performing, Western and non-Western, classical and avant-garde. Far from being mere adornments to educational development, easy to dismiss as nonessential in tight economic times, these disciplines nurture our creative instincts.”