Scholastic Art Award Winners 2023
One day last spring, Virginia Callen was eating lunch at True Food when a scene caught her eye. Three dogs huddled together on the patio nearby.
“Fortunately, I brought my camera with me, and I was able to snap a few photos,” the Harpeth Hall senior recalled.
The resulting image was a piece she called “Cerberus,” a nod to the three-headed hound in Greek mythology. This month, that photograph was among the 70 pieces of artwork by Harpeth Hall students that won awards in the 2023 Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Competition.
In total, 40 Harpeth Hall students were recognized — a record number for the school and the most of any school in the area.
Susie Elder, head of the visual art department, credits this achievement to the students’ innovative work.
“Scholastic aims to celebrate the creativity and skill of students, which is also important to us as a department,” Ms. Elder said of the art and writing competition that was founded in 1923 and includes notable past winners such as Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol, and Ken Burns. “We are proud of all of the hard work of our amazing artists!”
Senior Adelaide Cook, who won a Gold Key and an Honorable Mention, expressed her excitement at winning her first Scholastic awards as a senior.
“I am most proud of my work ‘Coricancha Temple’ because it was the piece that started my whole portfolio,” she said of the work, which exquisitely details the bricks of the temple set against the backdrop of a bright blue, cloud-filled sky. “This piece was my introduction to layering printmaking with other mediums, and it also began my portfolio of work inspired by architecture.”
Virginia, who won a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention, has also been honing her art skills throughout the years. She first discovered her love of photography in middle school.
“Once I got my first phone, I started to take pictures of anything that inspired me,” she said.
Over the years, her appreciation for the art — and her eye for intriguing images around her — has developed.
“It's been rewarding to see the improvement in my photography skills,” said Virginia, whose love of animals has served as an inspiration for her work. “I am so thankful to Mrs. Fraser for cultivating my love of photography in class at Harpeth Hall.”
Many student winners reflected on the impact their Harpeth Hall teachers have had on their work.
“I am grateful for all of my art teachers and our art curriculum for inspiring me to continue to pursue art,” Adelaide agreed.
This year’s results are a triumph for both the student winners and their dedicated teachers. The 2023 Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art exhibition will be on display in the Cheekwood Frist Learning Center from February 4 - 26. Gold Key works will be displayed physically, Silver Key works will be displayed digitally, and students receiving Honorable Mention will be awarded a certificate. Gold Key winning artworks will also go on to be judged in the national competition.
This year's winners:
Kelly Aquino, Gold Key, 3 Silver Keys
Pauline Bailey, Gold Key, Silver Key, 2 Honorable Mentions
Sophia Baldwin, Gold Key, Honorable Mention
Adelaide Cook, Gold Key, Honorable Mention
Ellery Cook, Gold Key, 3 Honorable Mentions
Allie Cunningham, 3 Gold Keys, 1 Honorable Mention
Conner Folk, Gold Key, Honorable Mention
Suki Junge, Gold Key
Presley Schick, Gold Key, 2 Honorable Mentions
Virginia Callen, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Mae Eads, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Hallie Gibson, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Lilly Kapana, Silver Key
Lulu Kohler, Silver Key
Niamh Manning, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Amelia Olafsson, Silver Key
Louise Ory, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Zarai Armstrong, Honorable Mention
Neelam Bittles, Honorable Mention
Lilly Cashen, 4 Honorable Mentions
Sarah Jean Caver, Honorable Mention
Luca Cyr, 3 Honorable Mentions
Ella Fridrich, 2 Honorable Mentions
Madison Goodman, Honorable Mention
Jesse Harwood, 2 Honorable Mentions
Haven Healy, Honorable Mention
Riley Kate Higgins, Honorable Mention
Sophie Hong, Honorable Mention
Alex Hu, Honorable Mention
Luna Kear, Honorable Mention
Kim Kirschbaum, Honorable Mention
Abby Lara, Honorable Mention
Ivey Mayes, Honorable Mention
Mary Alice Pierce, 2 Honorable Mentions
Sophia Rokas, Honorable Mention
Lailah Rucker, Honorable Mention
Eliana Slobey, Honorable Mention
Corinne Smith, Honorable Mention
Britton Staley, Honorable Mention
Carole Waltemath, Honorable Mention