Art students honored at Brooks Museum ceremony


Taylor Ross

Senior Taylor Ross won a gold key for her senior portfolio named “Tribulations” that included this photo titled “Tell Me I’m Pretty” of senior Emily Toma. Ross’s portfolio that will now be moving on to compete in a national competition investigated people’s troubles and suffering.

Eve Gershon, Features Editor

On the weekend of Feb. 10, students who won awards in the Mid-South Scholastic Art competition were honored at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

“I submitted about seven pictures, and I got a gold key for one of my photography entires, and then I got three honorable mentions and two silver keys,” sophomore Hannah Spillers said.

Spillers won a gold key for her photograph titled, “Mississippi Dame.” Receiving a gold key is one of the highest honors a student can achieve on the state-level of the Scholastic competition. Winning this award means that the student is automatically entered into Scholastic’s national competition. Spillers was thrilled to learn that she had won such a high honor.

“There is a lady down the street that always sits on her porch, and so I thought that was interesting,” Spillers said. “I wanted to take a picture of her, so one day after school I went and got the picture, and so that’s the one that I chose to use because I thought it was really interesting how she always sat outside.”

Senior Taylor Ross also won a gold key for her senior portfolio, “Tribulations,” and felt inspired because of it.

“It just kind of makes you want to create more,” Ross said. “It’s such a competitive competition. It just really boosts your confidence as an artist.”

The senior portfolio is a category that allows seniors set to graduate in the coming spring to submit a group of eight of their works that represent a specific idea or investigation.

“So for a portfolio, you have to pick a theme, and it has to unify all of the pictures, so I basically just did mine on tribulations and different examples of that,” Ross said.

Ross attended the award ceremony, where each winner was called up and recognized for their accomplishments.

“I thought that the ceremony went very well,” Ross said. “It honored all of the award winners as a whole and individually in a really thoughtful and organized manner.”

Though she was unable to attend the ceremony, senior Anna Grace Newsom also won a gold key for her drawing “Taylor Grocery.” She started working on her award-winning art because of a class assignment in art teacher Duran Johnson’s class.

“Well, it was actually a class assignment that we had to draw something in perspective,” Newsom said. “I wanted to choose one of my own photos that I had taken of Taylor Grocery, so I decided to work on that.”

Spillers found her inspiration for “Mississippi Dame” from her observations about the world around her.

“I was really excited because it just kind of showed that what I worked hard on for a while was paying off,” Spillers said.