CHS art students honored locally, statewide and nationally

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Canfield High School art students earning recognition locally, statewide and nationally for their award-winning works of art were, from left, (front) Kate Burrows, Zoe Kabetso; (back) Franki DuPonty, Emily Dunlap and Steffie Marciniak.


A number of Canfield High School art students have earned recognition locally, state-wide and nationally for their award-winning works of art.

The students will be recognized locally at the 2019 Mahoning County Student Art Show at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center on May 8, statewide at the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition at the James A. Rhodes Office Tower in Columbus on May 5, and nationally at the 2019 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 7.

Twenty Canfield High School art students will be represented at the 2019 Mahoning County Student Art Show. The annual art show is hosted to recognize students in grades nine through 12 who have an interest and talent in the visual arts.

Special award winners were Zoe Kabetso earning Best of Show and Franki DuPonty earning the District Award.

Earning first place awards for their art work were Jenna Allender, Autumn Caldwell, Clare Crescimanno, Emma Dodig, Emily Dunlap, Aurora Fares, Camryn Hollendoner, Lauren Johnson, Nicole Joseph, Zoe Kabetso, Steffie Marciniak and Ashley Ventimiglia.

Second place winners were Steffie Marciniak, Bri Maurer and Grace Rosko. Third place winners were Franki DuPonty and Dylan Mead. Honorable mention winners were Christine Bennett and Cassidy Mersing.

Kabetso said Canfield High School’s art program helped her explore her options in art.

“In middle school, I took after school art classes because they really didn’t offer too many options in art classes. When I got to the high school program, I was able to explore art a lot more and realized there were many more options which the program offered,” Kabetso said.

Kabetso’s Best of Show Award-winning piece is a charcoal self portrait titled “Zoe’s Self Portrait.”

“I am so excited and happy to have won Best of Show in the Mahoning County Student Art Show. I really didn’t expect a picture of me to win,” Kabetso said.

DuPonty said she uses a lot of different colors in her pieces, as seen in her award-winning artwork.

“I like working with color. I like to use lots of different colors and incorporate pops of color. My piece that won the District Award at the Mahoning County Student Art Show was for a color theory project. Color theory means we have to use six different color schemes,” DuPonty said.

DuPonty said she has loved art since she was a little girl.

“When I was little, my dad would sit down with me and do art. When I got to school, I realized it was a natural for me to do these things with art. Art is my passion and I plan to major in art in college,” DuPonty said.

DuPonty said she was surprised by her win.

“I was surprised for being a sophomore that I won. I didn’t expect to win, but am happy I did,” DuPonty said.

An open house will be held at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center from 6-7:30 p.m. on May 8, with an awards program beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Canfield High School art students Kaitlyn Burrows and Steffie Marciniak will have their artwork exhibited in the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition held at the James A Rhodes Office Tower in Columbus. Their work was selected from the more than 11,500 entries from 15 regions across the state of Ohio.

The competition is open to all of Ohio’s 1,112 high schools, both public and private. The judges for this competition are chosen from all over the country and are generally professional artists, college level instructors, or both.

Burrows’ work is titled “Squish” and is mixed media. Burrows is a senior and will be attending the Columbus College of Art and Design in the fall. Marciniak’s oil painting is titled, “Frustration.” She is a junior and will continue her art career next year at Canfield High School.

Burrows, an AP art student, said art became a way for her to communicate and put her ideas into something.

“Art is my passion. When I was little, my sister and I used to color in coloring books and now she’s at CCAD, too. When I got to high school, I realized the things I can do with art. It became a way for me to communicate. I was introverted as a kid and art gave me a way to put my ideas into something. With fine art, I realized there are so many different things I can do,” Burrows said.

Burrows said with her award-winning piece “Squish,” she wanted to break the stereotype of portraiture.

“I wanted to break the tradition of portraiture. I wanted to move away from the pristine aspect of it and break the mold,” Burrows said.

The Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition will run from April 22 through May 16, and is open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. At the exhibition opening, students will receive Awards of Excellence and scholarship awards.

Emily Dunlap and Steffie Marciniak earned Gold Medal Awards and national recognition in the 2019 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. A Scholastic Gold Medal Award indicates that Dunlap, a senior at Canfield High School, and Marciniak, a junior, have demonstrated that they are among the nation’s most talented young artists. Of the nearly 350,000 works of art and writing submitted from across the country by students in grades seven though 12 this year, only the top one percent received a National Medal.

Dunlap and Marciniak were invited to join with other students from across the nation to attend events in New York City on June 5–7, including the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall. This year’s speaker and Alumni Achievement Award winner is astronomer Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, who received a Scholastic Award for painting in 1996.

Marciniak’s award-winning pieces “Frustration” and “Flaming Jars” both had special meaning behind them.

“With ‘Frustration,’ I wanted to show the frustration students feel about school. It was a persona project, which means there has to be meaning behind it. I used my brother as a model and took his picture with books stacked all around him and him breaking a pencil and worked off of that. ‘Flaming Jars’ was a still life project and I knew I wanted to make it a little bit different. I did it in the dark with only the candles as light,” Marciniak said.

Marciniak said she is really excited about both her wins, but now realizes how big of an honor it is to win the national award for “Flaming Jars.”

“I am really excited to have won both these awards. I never knew how big nationals was until I won it and read more about it. I won’t get my piece back for two years because it will be displayed at colleges and art exhibitions across the country during that time,” Marciniak said.

Dunlap said she has always loved art and realized she could earn a living with her art.

“I have always loved art, probably since I was three years old. It became a bigger thing in my life when I was probably around 11 or 12. That’s when I realized I could actually, possibly do this for a living. I would be able to make money doing what I love. When I was 14, I was asked by a local author to illustrate her children’s book, which should be published soon,” Dunlap said.

Dunlap is thrilled to have won the Scholastic Gold Medal Award.

“I am thrilled. It is such an honor to be invited to New York and Carnegie Hall. I’ve wanted to win this award for a while and go to New York. New York has such a thriving art community. I am really happy to be recognized for my piece,” Dunlap said.

Dunlap’s oil painting, “Identity,” was a portrait project, which means it had to be a portrait of something that represented her.

“A portrait project must be a portrait of something that represents the artist. I wanted my African-American heritage to be represented in my piece. I wanted to represent my African-American heritage in a dignified way with a classic portrait style. African-Americans are not usually represented in art in a classical style,” Dunlap said.

Dunlap said her painting represents her ancestor, but also herself.

“I didn’t paint myself, I painted my ancestor. I used my eyes as her eyes because that is a part of me. The painting is supposed to represent something about myself, so I wanted to focus on my heritage. I painted her in a pose that shows strength and shows the dignity in her eyes. My concept was there is a piece of her in me and there is a piece of me in her,” Dunlap said.

Canfield High School art teacher Kevin Hoopes said he is very fortunate to be able to work with such a talented group of students.

“This is a very talented group of students. They are a pleasure and I appreciate the opportunity to be able work with them. I take what I do seriously and it is so rewarding to see them respond to what I do,” Hoopes said.

Hoopes said there’s more to winning an award than just the award.

“The awards are nice and they validate the students and the skills they have learned. The awards are also important because they boost the confidence of the students and reinforce their skill sets,” Hoopes said.

Hoopes praised the Canfield Local Schools art program.

“We have such an outstanding art program here at Canfield, starting with the elementary schools, and then to the middle school and then to the high school. Everyone in the program works really hard to make it so great and instill appreciation for the arts. I am very thankful and privileged to teach such great kids. And I really appreciate the support of their parents. We couldn’t do this without the support of our entire community,” Hoopes said.

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