Artists awarded: FHS art students bloom this spring

Several Frenship High School students have won a variety of art awards this spring.

Michael Arroyo, a senior, won a national silver medal from the Scholastic Art Competition with an oil pastel mixed media project he prepared called, “Take That, Orange.”

“I like to work with oil pastels,” Arroyo said during an interview in the Frenship High School library. “That’s my medium of choice.”

Art, he said, is a way for him to express what he is feeling.

He didn’t know how big the award was when he was first notified by mail. His instructor, Joey MacLean, asked him if he’d received a letter about it, and he said he told MacLean he thought everyone had.

Once MacLean explained that it was a national award, Arroyo said, “I was really excited and proud that I had got that.”

In the future, Arroyo plans to combine his love of computers with his love of art, hoping to work in computer science but also to do some graphic design on his own as well.

Tabitha Hansen, a Frenship junior, was an American Vision winner in the Scholastic Art Competition. She also won one of three Award of Excellence designations given to Frenship High School students from the PTSA Reflections contest.

The PTSA award was for a photo she did of a friend of hers for a diversity assignment at FHS. She painted half of the girl’s face black, which also dried into a weathered effect.

“Truthfully, the biggest diversity thing is what color they are, or how old they are,” Hansen said. Her photo showed age and color diversity on one subject.

Hansen said she has been interested in photography since she was 8 years old.

“It’s really what I want to do,” she said. “I don’t think I really could do anything else.”

She was particularly excited that she got the awards as a junior.

“I’ve never seen a junior get it, so it was very exciting,” Hansen said.

Forrest Lockhart, an FHS junior, was also excited to be named a winner of the Award of Excellence from the PTSA Reflections contest. He also is a state qualifier for the Visual Art Scholastic Event, or VASE.

“I really did work hard to achieve my goal,” Lockhart said.

His projects involved photography of his friends. The photo that qualified for the VASE is called “A Prince’s Controversy,” and is actually two photos of the same friend with a different expression on his face.

“It’s just showing the two different sides of any human,” Lockhart said.

Another student who won an Award of Excellence from the PTSA Reflections Contest was Allison Angell, a freshman at FHS.

Michelle Spearman, a senior, is one of nine students from FHS who qualified for the VASE contest, but this is her third year to have one of her ceramic sculptures selected for the state contest.

She said she wasn’t surprised to be selected a third time.

“It was almost narcissistic. I almost expected it,” she said. “But it was reassuring.”

She said she likes the feel of sculpture and understands it more than two-dimensional art, but it also frustrates her.

“It is very consuming. You lose time,” she said of the effort she puts into her art.

Spearman said she hopes to study art in college, but may combine it with other studies.

Other students who qualified for the state VASE contest are Jared Shelton, Jane Foote, Julie Ladd, Sarah Baker, Baylee Marshall, Maggie Craig and Brooke Singer.

Caitlyn Barhorst, a senior, was named a finalist in the Nikon/Photographer’s Forum Magazine.

Barhorst said out of 40,000 pictures submitted, hers was one of the 600 finalists that will be published in a hardback book.

“I submitted a picture of my sister and her boyfriend that I took a while back,” she said.

Someday she hopes to study architecture, but she said she wants to stay involved in photography as well.

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