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OHS art students excel in Scholastic Art

Emma Scott, Staff Writer

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The winners of the 2016 Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards competition were announced Jan. 15, and many Oxford High students were recognized for their work through this contest.

“We had a total of around 17 students enter and many of them entered multiple pieces,” OHS art teacher Duran Johnson said. “We had 22 awards given out. It was a pretty good turnout.”

Because students are able to enter the Scholastic competition as early as the seventh grade and a student in the Oxford School District may not be enrolled in an art course every semester, let alone every academic year, the OHS students received more awards than what was expected.

“We were hoping for what we got, but we were not realistically expecting it,” Johnson said. “Most students who enter in Scholastic have the entire calendar year; like now, we have students pining for the competition in December.

“So, for us to be here for just one semester, I think we did exceptionally well.”

Sophomore Taylor Ross was the only student to win an award for a special competition within the general contest. Ross entered photographs that were based on the concept of immigration in the United States.

“I edited and took the photographs earlier in the school year, so all I had to do was make sure that the resolution of every photograph met the competition’s guidelines,” Ross said.

Senior Jordyn Repka entered nine photographs and one drawing. Repka received two honorable mentions, two silver keys, and was one of the four students to win a gold key for her artwork.

“I was so excited to have been given a gold key out of everyone who entered,” Repka said. “I did not think I would win much going into the competition, so it was a nice surprise to be recognized for my work.”

Compared to schools focused on the arts, OHS students proved to do just as well in the contest, even with less time and preparation.

“Our school got four gold keys,” said Johnson, who, along with his wife, Ebony, also an art teacher in her first year at OHS, has provided studio time after school for students to work on projects. “That is the one that everyone wants.

“I taught in Memphis last year at a performing arts school. They got four gold keys, as well. For us to be here for one semester and get the same amount as a school in Memphis that is a performing arts school, I think that is pretty good.”

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OHS art students excel in Scholastic Art