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 Jefferson High School Artists Receive National, State and Regional Art Awards

4/21/2020 12:00 AM

​Jefferson High School artists continue to celebrate a growing list of successes in the visual arts, with the most recent announcement of the National Scholastic Art & Writing award winners. Recognition through these awards brings positive reinforcement to those young artists who continue their portfolio development from home and look forward to being back together to celebrate. Some of the recent awards include:

  • -Gabriela Pina-Bautista recognized as Best of Show at the Rock Valley College Art Exhibition
  • -Angel Villalpando awarded a Senior Portfolio Scholarship at the Rockford Art Museum's Young Artist Show
  • -Mariana Rosales honored with the State Bronze Award in the Senior division of the Illinois High School Art Exhibition
  • -Senior Isabella Dittman recognized with a National Silver Key Award

On Sunday, March 8, Jefferson senior Mariana Rosales was individually awarded a State Bronze Award for her charcoal drawing titled "Haunting." Mariana shared her experience of receiving this recognition at the Illinois High School State Art Exhibition (IHSAE) as an inspiring moment:

"When the day came to attend the IHSAE I was excited and nervous. I first viewed the General Show that represented 150 high schools and over 1,000 artists. When finally getting to view the Senior Exhibition, I asked myself if my art was even good enough to be here and could it possibly be recognized with an award. Having my work showcased right next to so many incredible pieces that were not only beautiful, but also addressed significant social issues, was amazing. I found my piece in the exhibition and saw the IHSAE Award sticker, which meant my piece had been selected as an award winner. I was very proud. At that moment, I realized that my work, as seen through the eyes of experts, had value and others were able to relate to it. That is when I was inspired to work even harder and continue creating art that means something to me and hopefully others.

Seated in the senior awards section, my mom took pictures of me. I think she was more excited and happier to be there than I was. Competing against 600 senior artists from across the state, I was surprised and honored to receive a Bronze Medal Award. This experience really reinforced my belief in myself as an artist. Walking onto the stage, I felt like my work was valued. All the hard work I put into my art over the past four years was being recognized. When I learned that I was the first Rockford student to be given an award in the State Senior Exhibition, it made me feel even prouder because I was representing my school. I realized then that it is time to stop second guessing myself and believe! I know that there is so much more to achieve and that is what will keep me working hard. I am very happy to have been pushed to meet deadlines and encouraged by having my work in exhibitions that teach us the value of our personal creative expression."

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