Two Hubbard students nominated for national competition

By Samantha Phillips


Hubbard High School seniors Morgan Diefenderfer and Taylor Begeot never thought their art would compete at a national level, but between them, four pieces were nominated for national Scholastic Art Awards.

Three of Diefenderfer’s pieces won Gold Key awards, and one of them also earned an American Vision award. Begeot earned a Gold Key award for her piece.

“It was so exciting – and so unexpected,” Begeot said.

Diefenderfer is the first student in the school’s history to receive a nomination for the American Vision award.

“Morgan put so much of himself into the work, everything is personal. He really puts his heart and soul into his art, so it’s really rewarding,” said Hubbard art teacher Josh MacMillan.

The American Vision Award is given to five Gold Key winners per region, and one piece will be chosen to represent the region. The Gold Key pieces are sent to the national competition in New York, and winners will receive scholarships. MacMillan said the date of the national competition hasn’t been announced.

Diefenderfer’s American Vision and Gold Key piece is a self-portrait in which he is covering his mouth and horns protrude out of his head.

“The horns coming out of the head is kind of a recurring theme,” he said. Diefenderfer explained that he enjoys creating art that blends human elements with something eerie.

“It’s kind of morphing humans with nature. I’m pretty extreme with details,” he said.

The other two Gold Key pieces he submitted are a self-portrait of him covering his mouth, with only his eye showing, and a portfolio with eight different pieces. These pieces are in stark contrast to Begeot’s colorful, sugar-skull-inspired piece.

Begeot’s piece was inspired by a lesson in her Spanish class on the Day of the Dead and features a plaster mold of a human face with half of the face adorned with sugar-skull (decorative skull) makeup and the other half with more traditional makeup.

The face shape is Begeot’s own. She said she spent half an hour lying on a table with plaster creating a mold of her face. Straws were stuck in her nose so she could breathe, she noted, laughing.

“I’m really into makeup, and I enjoy painting the sugar-skull design,” she said.

Both students credited MacMillan for supporting them and encouraging them to enter the contest.

“I give him a lot of credit – he helps a lot even if he is harsh sometimes,” Begeot said.

This was the 12th year in a row that a Hubbard student had art proceed to the national competition, MacMillan said. “I’m always proud of my students. I’m proud of these two and my other students who won Silver Key awards. I have been fortunate as a teacher to have talented kids,” he added.

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