Tag Archives: teacher

Featured Teacher: Cherie Jenkins

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ImageCherie Jenkins teaches art to students in grades K-12 for two home school Co-ops in Dallas, TX.  Her student, Aiden Moller, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Spring 2013 art contest.  The winning art, “Whimsical Bird”, can be viewed here.  Cherie has had over 100 students become published artists since she first participated in our national art contest in 2013.

We asked Cherie her thoughts on engaging student artists and what helps her to be successful in the classroom. She responded with the following:

“I find that while engaging art students in the classroom, it is best to keep in mind the need to break down the lesson into several parts. My students flourish with step-by-step instructions from drawing with lines and shapes that are familiar, to painting using color families on the color wheel, as well as a good foundation in art elements and principles of design. I especially enjoy working with my students as they explore the different art mediums and art techniques I’ve introduced to them. During each lesson, I strive to inspire my students to work towards ‘Completion’, rather than perfection. Many students get caught up in trying to produce ‘Perfect’ art, discouragement then sets in and the art piece is left unfinished. While students are focusing on completion, it’s their ‘Creative’ mind that influences their art piece, instead of their ‘Critical’ mind. As an art teacher, I see my calling as one who not only instructs but inspires, and inspiration is just as important as instruction for the creative process.”

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

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Featured Student Artist: Sangeun Lee

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Sangeun

Sangeun Lee is an upcoming sophomore at Eastside High School in Florida.  Sangeun’s hobbies include digital and fine art and playing the piano.  “Them and I” was selected as a Top Ten Winner for the Spring 2013 national art contest.

“Them and I” was partly inspired from the shirt Sangeun was wearing when the reference photo for the piece was taken (shown above); there was a cat on Sangeun’s t-shirt, which prompted the additional cats in the background of the painting.

For the future, Sangeun plans to pursue an art-related career, but also has an interest in Computer Science.

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

Featured Student Artist: Christine Cho

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ImageChristine Cho is a sophmore at Hebron High School in Texas.  Her painting, “Big Flirt”, was selected last spring as a Top Ten Winner for her age division.  When Christine isn’t painting, she enjoys playing tennis, spending time with friends and family, and reading.

Christine explains, “Although I have not been painting for very long, I know that I will continue to paint for as long as I can, because I Iove being able to see all my hard work come together when the painting is finished. Currently, my favorite medium is acrylic, but I have just recently started painting with oil paints, and I am beginning to like that very much as well.  My favorite things to paint are the small details, like feathers, stitches, bubbles, etc. because even though they might seem minuscule, and might not be seen at first glance, I feel they really add extra dimension and character to a painting.

ImageFor this particular painting, “Big Flirt”, my inspiration was to draw a beautiful duck that stood out from the others, because I originally planned to enter the Junior Duck Contest, but I felt constrained by the 9″ by 12″ size I was required to meet. So after a lot of time and research, I decided to focus on my duck rather then the contest I would be entering. After finding a duck that I really liked, I began to sketch it out on the canvas in detail, then continued on to paint, and enhance the colors of the duck a little bit to ensure that it would be eye-catching, regardless of the contest I planned to enter.”

Christine’s future plans include continuing to paint, earning a degree in the arts, and then continuing on to hopefully pursue a career in the arts as well.

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

Featured Student Artist: Keely O’Connor

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ImageKeely O’Connor is a 12-year-old student from Deferiet, NY, a very small town located approximately 45 minutes from the Canadian border. In her 12 short years she has become quite an accomplished young artist. From the time she was old enough to pick up a crayon, she has been drawing.

Keely was selected as a Top Ten Winner for the Spring 2012 art contest for her piece, “Skull & Corn“.  This means that her art was one of the ten best in the United States and Canada for her age division.

Keely entered her first art show in 2009 at the Jefferson County Fair and took home the 1st place blue ribbon. ImageIn 2010, she once again entered this yearly contest, only this time she entered two of her paintings, and took home 1st and 2nd place. Keely accomplished her goal of winning Best of Show for a painting in 2011. At just 11 years old, Keely won against all other entries in the Youth Division, which is open to all artists up to 18 years of age.

In the fall of 2011 Keely received permission to enter one of her drawings in the 63rd Annual North Country Art Councils Fine Art Show. TImagehis exhibit included 248 pieces of work from 77 artists. Keely was awarded 1st place for her drawing, and was the only child in the competition. Keely was approached early in 2012 by a local physician who wanted to commission a portrait from her. This was her first commission, since then she has been commissioned for another. In April 2012, one of Keely’s pieces was chosen as the People’s Choice winner for Artist’s World Magazine, and she was featured on the cover.  Keely took 1st place in the 2012 Jefferson County Fair for the same drawing she entered into our contest.  She also took 2nd place for her sculpture.
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Keely enjoys painting, sculpting and drawing. Nature scenes and animals are her loves right now. Keely takes private art classes with Bob Renaud, the local high school art instructor and a renowned artist in his own right. Keely looks forward to attending art school in the future, and to becoming a professional artist.

Congratulations, Keely, on all of your many accomplishments!  Keep up the incredible work and we hope to see more of your talent in the future!

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

Featured Student Artist: Danli Lang

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ImageDanli Liang is a 16-year-old senior at La Jolla Country Day School in California.  Not only does Danli’s talent lie in art, but she is also a very accomplished pianist; she has won 1st place internationally and was the first place winner in her state piano competition.  Not only that, but she has also debuted with several orchestras.

Danli was selected as a Top Ten Winner for her piece “Self-Portrait.”  This means that Danli’s art was chosen as one of the ten best in the entire United States and Canada for her grade division.  We asked Danli to share the inspiration for her winning piece as well as her aspirations for the future. 

“I’ve always had a passion for creating art with pencils. When I was younger and not overloaded with schoolwork as I am now, I spent whatever free time I had drawing. Every time I finished my homework and completed my piano practice session earlier than usual, I would grab a piece of paper from the printer and start to draw with a mechanical pencil, usually for hours at a time. I mostly drew portraits — whether they were faces of tween celebrities, my friends, or just random people, I took delight in observing each person’s facial features and transferring the details as realistically as possible into my own creation. The entire process was addicting — once I sat down in my chair and began drawing, I couldn’t get up until I finished the piece. My mind became so centered on the drawing that I was oblivious to how much time had passed. Despite the exhausted tension I always felt when I finally got up from my chair and viewed the final product from afar, it was always worth it. If I was successful at making it look realistic and photo-like, I was happy, and the hard work had culminated in self-satisfaction.

Thus began my journey into the world of hyperrealistic style. After seeing the passion I had for drawing, my mom set up a little drawing studio in our house for me, which included proper art utensils (no mechanical pencils!). Having always been a self-taught artist, I took my first formal art class (Studio I Art) when I entered high school, where I continued to develop my skill in hyperrealism and discovered the new challenge of drawing clothing folds. When I became a junior and took AP Studio Art, I completed a 12-piece concentration on portraits of myself as a high school student. ImageThis time, however, each portrait included not just my face but clothing and figure as well; I wanted to emphasize the intricate details of both the human face and clothing folds, elements that made each piece take several 10 hours to complete. “Self Portrait,” is one selection from my concentration. It is a pencil drawing that represents myself as a typical high school student “reacting from a grade she got on a test.” I like this drawing in particular because of my “surprised” facial expression and the many small, distinct wrinkles of the clothing.

Drawing is something I enjoy putting my all into; even after I finish an art work and finally realize how much my eyes are stinging or how bone-tired my back is from sitting, I don’t really mind, because drawing is my passion and I think it’s all worth it to see what I’ve accomplished at the end of each drawing. I hope to minor in both the visual arts and piano performance when I go to college. “

Congratulations, Danli, on not only being selected as a Top Ten Winner for the spring 2012 art contest, but for your incredible accomplishments with the piano as well.  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 contests, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

Featured Student Artist: Becca Parrish

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ImageBecca Parrish is a 15-year-old student at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.  Her art, “Laughter is the Greatest Medicine“, was chosen as a Top Ten Winner for the spring 2012 art contest.  This means that Becca’s art was selected as one of the ten best pieces of art in the entire United States and Canada for her age division.

ImageBecca’s hobbies include volleyball and basketball.  She likes to go to the beach and participate in the youth group at her church.  She became interested in art when she was in the second grade.

“I saw this photo of my cousin, Chaya, and fell in love with her expression. I wanted to catch the light and laughter in her eyes.” Becca explains, describing what inspired her to create her winning piece.  Becca’s future goals include going to an art school where she can develop her skills in the arts.

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

Your Students Are Great

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I recently visited Washington DC and I took my family to the Smithsonian’s Art Galleries.  I love art and I enjoy looking at art.  When we left the Museum of Modern Art, my family also left more impressed with the art that is sent into our contests.  From the tens of thousands of students who participate in our art contest, we have all kinds of art sent in.  From modern abstract pieces to beautiful portraits.  It is our job to trim the entries down to what we feel are the top 25%.  It is not an easy task.  However, having seen a large painting in the Modern Art Gallery where I wasn’t sure if a 20 foot by 20 foot plain orange canvas with a black line slashed across the middle had been vandalized or if it was put there on purpose, or looking at a canvas with what looked like a representation of a dry erase board that had math formulas partly erased, I also realized that once you are established as an artist you have credibility and anything goes.

I know if we had accepted similar art and published it in our books, I would have received letters from teachers and students asking me to justify printing bad art when other students had entered better pieces that were not accepted.  I know art is subjective.  Modern art is supposed to push things to the edge, but seeing much of what is displayed, it makes me appreciate every piece that is sent to us.  Don’t get me wrong, I love modern art, but I also like to see art where I can feel the talent and struggle behind the art. Our books are a presentation of what our judges feel is good art.  Not everyone will agree with our decisions.  But we hope people will see the merit in what we chose for the publication.

For more information about our national art contests, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.