Tag Archives: honor

Featured Student Artist: Meagan Wu


WuMeagan-104 Meagan Wu is a 17-year-old rising senior at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) high school in San Diego, California. She was selected as a Top Ten Winner for her colored pencil drawing, “Floral Beauty.”  Meagan’s art was chosen as one of the ten best in all of North America out of thousands of entries submitted. Her art was featured and published in our Spring 2013 anthology.

Meagan has developed as an aspiring young artist through recognition as a multitalented individual and intellectually engaged student. She has made many accomplishments both as an artist and musician who has performed in Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and soloed with orchestras. Meagan recently attended the prestigious Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Summer Seminar at Colorado College with full scholarship as one of 60 gifted high school juniors nationwide, drawing and painting in the mountains under the daily tutelage of guest artists Don Coen and Barbara Friedman.

Meagan became avidly interested in art at a young age and has the National Youth Art Competition, California State PTA, San Diego County Fair Youth Art Show, Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and has had her artwork displayed in the San Diego Art Institute Museum of the Living Artist for three years. Her art consists of work from her AP Drawing class, free time, and CCA Envision Visual Arts (EVA) Conservatory under the guidance of Jessica Matthes, who says: “Meagan has been one of our star students in EVA day classes and in Conservatory.  She has an extremely high level of skill and creativity and especially excels at painting.  I have been lucky enough to have Meagan in several of my classes and she always goes above and beyond in every project”.

Meagan especially loves to draw human figures, and is inspired by music she listens to and history. She focuses on hyperrealism. “Art encourages me to observe beyond a superficial expression or subjective experience. It allows me to give it my own story, which is just as exciting as viewing the finished piece.”

We asked Meagan to share her inspiration as well as her future aspirations:

“I especially like ‘Floral Beauty‘ because it has so many intricacies: the flower petals’ delicate hues, the reflection in the golden vase, the countless folds of the tablecloth…It’s more than just flowers, and is quite mesmorizing. I drew ‘Floral Beauty’ because I am intensely engrossed by such fine details, and the setup/composition tested my hand with detail to the maximum. Somehow, working on minute elements doesn’t hurt my patience because I know how much such concentration contributes to the piece as a whole. Many people assume that realism like in still lives and portraits is undermined by photography. But I will always believe that realistic art undermines photographs, since artists use their own hands and a priceless determination to recreate reality. It is this diligence that illustrates just how precious art can be. It my delight in sketching even random things I see when travelling or at home that has made me so much keener. I hope that I can develop my art further by incorporating even more unique concepts and meaningful stories that cannot be told in words. I know that I will continue my artistic, and musical, pursuits after high school.”

art-num-130012843Meagan also loves to play the cello, and has demonstrated her musical skill by winning various competitions from the local to international level including 1st Prize in the H.B. Goodlin Scholarship Auditions, American Protégé International Music Talent Competition, MTAC Concerto Competition, MTAC VOCE Competition, Satori Strings Competition, International Youth Praise Competition; and 2nd Prize in American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition and Era of Romantic Music Competition, Cal-Poly All-State Music Festival Solo Competition, Grossmont Music Scholarship Auditions, and more. Furthermore, Meagan loves to serve her community through performances at senior/retirement houses, nursing homes, libraries, and fundraising events. Meagan enjoys the challenge of balancing her art, music, and academics with equal devotion.

Congratulations, Meagan, on not only being selected as a Top Ten Winner for the Spring 2013 art contest, but for your incredible achievements in both the fine and performing arts. We wish you the best in your bright future, and thank you for inspiring others with your beautiful talent.

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


Featured Student Art: “Lincoln”



This fall, a very unique piece was entered into our national art contest from Barwell Road Elementary School in North Carolina.

Luk Siu, Selina Ifidon, Kyra Davis, and Charly Mari worked for more than 30-40 hours each creating a panel made with colored aquarium rocks.  Under the direction of Bryan L. Allyn, there were able to create this stunning piece, “Lincoln”.

Lincoln2Art specialist Bryan explains, “When starting this project, I knew that it was going to require a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication and artistic ability.  I hand-selected four of my gifted students to each complete a section of the portrait of our sixteenth President.  The students’ dedication to this project was emphasized when they volunteered countless recess hours and several vacation days to see it through completion (Barwell Road Elementary is a year-round school).  I was incredibly impressed with their enthusiasm and motivation for tirelessly working on something that would take months to complete.  I am very proud to be their art teacher and mentor.  As they move on with their education, they will each be fondly remembered throughout the rest of my career.”

Constructed on four individual 12″ x 16″ wood panels, each segment of “Lincoln” was drawn using a grid system so that they would align properly.  The boards were then painted using four basic colors (dark brown, light brown, red, and black) that matched the similar shade of aquarium gravel used to cover the entire portrait.   The most tedious part of this work was the application of the rocks.  Each individual pebble was placed on top of the corresponding colored paint and adjusted so that they would all fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

Additionally, each side of the wood panels was painted wherever the colors met the edges or corners of the board.  The intention was to hang the work with slightly spaced gaps between each panel.  If the image was slightly separated from the next panel, it would give the illusion that it was still together.  The separation of the panels would be a symbolic representation that during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency the country was divided, and he was the president who brought our nation back together.

The studPaint on the Sideents enjoyed creating this piece and seeing the beautiful outcome. “It felt really good when we finally finished the Abraham Lincoln project.” Kyra Davis explained, “We had to draw, paint, and put little pebbles all over it.  It took a long time and a lot of hard work, but it was really fun!” Fellow artist Selina Ifidon added, “After completing this art work I really thought it was amazing!  I felt so happy and proud of myself.” Charly Marin learned a great deal of patience while creating the piece, and added “This project took a lot of patience and time.  It was worth it, because everyone who sees it now knows how awesome of an artist I am.”

This project was influenced by a work of art featured on a reality television show (“Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” aired on the Bravo Network), a trip to a local pet store, and a documentary on the History Channel. After a brainstorming session involving Bryan and his team of four artists, they developed a plan that led to the creation of their elementary masterpiece.

“Lincoln” received High Merit recognition in the Fall 2012 art book, which comes out this May.  To learn more about our national art contests, visit www.CelebratingArt.com.