Emma Lucy used two common household items, an iPad and a glow stick, to create a national award-winning piece of art.
Inspired by a digital art theme of creating light in a dark room, the Hopkinton High School sophomore used her iPad on “long, slow exposure” to capture the image of the glow stick.
The final work using two inanimate objects more closely resembles one singular, beautiful blue-green fern with multiple leaves, resulting in the title “Glowing Fern.”
She created the picture in her Hopkinton High School digital art class taught by Colleen Gianino, who encouraged her to submit her work into competition.
Her glow stick work earned her glowing praise.
In the 2020 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards she won the Gold Key Award, which is a regional award. Her work then was judged nationally and she also won a Gold Medal Award, which is presented to outstanding works in the nation.
“I was so excited,” the sophomore said. “I wasn’t expecting it to go that far, but I’m really proud it did.”
Graphic design and digital art are becoming more popular, Lucy said, and can be especially useful in a time such as the COVID-19 crisis when supplies may be limited and stores less available.
“Everyone has a phone and a computer nowadays,” she said of the tools that can be used.
Lucy has enjoyed her experiences with art during the crisis as “something to get my mind off of it.”
Art teacher Kris Kellenberger supports that idea.
“I would encourage every student to make something every day,” she said. “Doing something with your hands is satisfying. Even when it’s frustrating, it’s satisfying.”
In addition to teaching art, Kellenberger also serves as advisor to the Hopkinton High School Honors Exhibition.
Students involved in the exhibition learn all aspects of setting up a gallery experience, including preparing for the exhibit, publicizing the event through social media and other forums, and otherwise discovering how professional artists and institutions prepare for an exhibition.
“Documentation of their processes is really, really heavily emphasized,” she said.
Nine students showcased a “pretty broad’’ range of work, including print making, tunnel books and pen and ink. Themes included such provocative subjects as the glorification of suicide, the high costs of college and a broken health care system.
The pandemic forced a change in how this year’s exhibition took place. The artwork can be viewed online at spark.adobe.com/page/FrMvGytzgv56V/.
In the exhibit as in their AP courses, the students are “constantly articulating why they choose the materials and the process of creating their pieces,” Kellenberger said.
The students who participated are Christopher Benham, Keelan Boyle, Julia diBenedetto, Katharine Lagasse, Grace Liu, Linnea Pappas-Byers, Keira Schnur, Lily Vaughan and Sara Weissinger.
The young artists are “exploring the world through a question they want answered,” Kellenberger said, and learning how artists use media to convey a narrative to tell a story.
“Art is the lens through which you’re viewing the world and finding your voice,” she said.