The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

Visual artists win 90 regional Scholastic Awards

McCallum boasts more winners than any school in region; Gold Key winners advance to national competition
Sunny Greenblum
Sunny Greenblum: “Going Bowling”

McCallum artists won 90 awards in the 2023-24 Central Texas Regional Scholastic Awards, the most from any school in the region. The awards included 20 Gold Keys, 32 Silver Keys, and 38 Honorable Mentions. The Gold Key winners will advance to the national Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and National Medals will be announced by mid-March.

Written by Ingrid Smith.

Other students at McCallum also got the Silver Keys Award and Honorable Mentions. Below is the link to the other awards McCallum students got.

2024 Scholastic Gold Key Winners
Zora Adams: "Petrichor"
Zora Adams: Petrichor

“Petrichor” by freshman Zora Adams was inspired by the scent of rain and a friend she had. The piece depicts water droplets on a window, and the outside is blurry. 

“It kind of represents like a headspace I've kind of been in, where I feel like I can't figure out what I'm feeling, but it's kind of just like, blurry,” Adams said. 

Unlike the rest of the piece, the water droplets are colored, representing Adams's splashes of emotion. 

Adams's title “Petrichor” was inspired by a friend she made. 

“I made a friend when I was like in a really dark place, and she was like kind of a light for me. She told me what the word meant and I decided to name my piece it,” Adams said.  

Adams is very happy with how the piece turned out and is excited for her next pieces. 

“I'm very happy with how it turned out and thankful for my art teachers, my critiques, and all my friends,” Adams said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Edie Birkholz: "Morphed"
Edie Birkholz: Morphed

Senior Edie Birkholz submitted “Morphed” as part of her AP art portfolio. 

“The theme of my AP art portfolio is thinking about mess as a beautiful thing,” Birkholz said.

Birkholz wanted to fill in every space with detail and emphasize maximalism. She created this piece with only a pen. 

“I had never done like a large finished piece with only pen before but I've been experimenting a lot recently in my notebook,” Birkholz said.

Birkholz is happy with how the piece turned out but wants to expand on her technique further. 

“I still think I could do better, just because it was my first one. I think I want to try again with like, a similar technique, but kind of push it further a little bit,” Birkholz said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Emily Cockherham-Lewis: "Toilet Cat"
Emily Cockherham-Lewis: Toilet Cat

Sophomore Emily Cockerham-Lewis created “Toilet Cat” to show a small part of her life. 

“The idea for my piece was basically like a slice of life, so I took a photo that I had taken my cat sitting on my toilet in my bathroom, and I turned it into a painting,” Cockerham-Lewis said. 

Cockerham-Lewis wanted to turn a mundane thing and make it look beautiful. 

“I want to pay attention to all the details and make them beautiful,” Cockerham-Lewis said. 

Cockerham-Lewis wanted this piece to be a piece her family could keep around and appreciate for a long time. 

“I was proud of my gold key because it was the first time I won one,” Cockerham-Lewis said. “I’m honestly really proud of everyone’s pieces.”

Caption by Mira Patel.

Elizabeth Falkin: "Breaking Expectations"
Elizabeth Falkin: Breaking Expectations

Sophomore Elizabeth Falkin’s piece, “Breaking Expectations”, was inspired by her desire to lean away from misconceptions about her. 

“My piece is about breaking out of misconceptions about me in middle school and my realization that now I'm in high school now so I can be done with that,” Falkin said.

The hands in Falkin’s piece are pushing through a metallic box to represent something hard to break through. 

“I’m really happy with how it turned out. I feel like I could have been a little bit more realistic,” Falkin said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Elizabeth Falkin: "Self Conscious"
Elizabeth Falkin: Self Conscious

Falkin’s piece, “Self Conscious”, depicts Falkin looking at her own eyes. 

“I feel like in high school your brain is developing so much and you start to notice a lot about yourself,” Falkin said.  

Falkin’s print was 3 layered, where between each layer she continued carving so she could add another color and add shadows. 

“Printmaking is a hard medium to get good at, especially because each print turns out different, but that's the beauty of it,” Falkin said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Mia Gonzales: "Dragging"
Mia Gonzales: Dragging

Sophomore Mia Gonzales was working in the art room when the teachers announced the Gold Key winners. Her painting “Dragging” was on the list.

“The painting that won Gold is my favorite thing I’ve ever made,” Gonzales said. “The reference picture came from me taking my makeup off one night. I thought it would be a cool painting and then I ended up using it. I loved the process of making it since it was the first time I had used oils.”

Caption by Ingrid Smith.

Sunny Greenblum: "Going Bowling"
Sunny Greenblum: Going Bowling
Sunny Greenblum: “Going Bowling” (Sunny Greenblum)

Senior Sunny Greenblum’s piece, “Going Bowling” was a multilayer print about the memory of her dad’s birthday. 

The printing is done in stages, where each layer of color is a different carving of the original linoleum block. 

“It was just a memory of him and I going bowling when I was really little,” Greenblum said. “So I wanted to make that into a print for him.”

Greenblum is happy with the way her piece turned out but wishes she had more cleaner prints. 

“I'm really happy with it. I just wish I had more that came out cleaner with less ink spots,” said Greenblum.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Ahmory Hodgson: "Heartstrings"
Ahmory Hodgson: Heartstrings

Junior Ahmory Hodgson entered “Heartstrings” which was a sculpture of a ribcage. 

“I really love how it turned out, especially since I don't usually do sculptural stuff,” Hodgson said. 

Hodgson made the rib cage part with wire and paper mache and then needle-felted an anatomical heart. 

“Honestly I just really love cats so this piece was like a homage to my cats,” Hodgson said. 

Hodgson then used their cat's fur to feel a little cat into the center of the heart and then used red thread to string the heart up in the ribcage.   

“Honestly I just really love cats so this piece was like a homage to my cats,” Hodgson said. 

Caption by Mira Patel.

London Pagnini: "A Little House"
London Pagnini: A Little House

Junior London Pagnini's “A Little House" was a project about Nesting Bowls in ceramics. 

“With this project, I wanted to create a house so the largest bowl is outside of the house,” Pagnini said. “The middle bowl is the inside of the house and the smallest bowl is the animal who lives in the house.”

When making her bowls, Pagnini used different techniques to create the drawings. 

“I started with a light layer of underglaze to make the color and then I used a black liner pen to do the outlines,” Pagnini said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Mira Patel: "American Dream"
Mira Patel: American Dream

“American Dream” by sophomore Mira Patel was inspired by a photo from an old family album. 

“What intrigued me in this photo was the way my sister was captivated by the Barbie doll in the box,” Patel said. “It was almost like she couldn't bring herself to open the box because it was so precious.”

In this piece, Patel depicts the pervasiveness of commonly held standards in American culture and how these are disconnected from the realities of people of color. 

Social Justice is a common theme in Patel’s artwork. 

“I find meaning in creating pieces that raise awareness and make people think,” Patel said. “I want my art to encourage dialogue around issues of social justice so that the diverse voices and perspectives of people are brought to light.”

Caption by Josie Mullan.

Stella Proctor: "The Sun is Also a Bug"
Stella Proctor: The Sun is Also a Bug

Junior Stella Proctor's piece, “The Sun is Also a Bug”, was a collage piece that she made as a foreshortening perspective piece.

“It was probably my first college piece that I took seriously,” Proctor said. 

Proctor had originally made the piece for her art class last year but decided to modify it to create a new meaning. 

“I wanted the theme of this piece to be something you don't typically see,” said Proctor. “I decided the piece looked like it was from the perspective of a bug, so that's where it’s meaning came from.” 

Proctor used bright colors and made the piece into a collage to make it look like there was a sun behind the person. 

“Recently I've been going into the theme of really bright colors,” Proctor said. “I think the bright colors give the piece so much more than just going with traditional realistic colors.” 

Caption by Mira Patel.

Hazel Reddy: "Birthday Abroad"
Hazel Reddy: Birthday Abroad

“Birthday Abroad”, by senior Hazel Reddy is a three color reduction linocut print. Reddy only used one linoleum plate to create the print.

“Birthday Abroad” is meant to show a lively, detailed dinner scene. 

“My motivation to make this piece was to challenge myself to create a print that was complex while at a small scale—this one’s 5x7 inches,” Reddy said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Hazel Reddy: "Introspection"
Hazel Reddy: Introspection

“Introspection” by Reddy is about prioritizing working on yourself. 

“I depicted a group huddle scene between three self portraits to represent this,” Reddy said.

The piece “introspection” is a colored pencil drawing with an acrylic paint background. Reddy used the same shade of blue for the background of many of her pieces because the serene color contrasts with the dramatic themes of the imagery. 

“I am really happy with how the soft colors came together for this piece,” Reddy said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Hazel Reddy: "I Can't Forget"
Hazel Reddy: I Cant Forget

Reddy’s drawing portfolio “I Can’t Forget” centers around the theme of integral parts of her identity and values she hopes to hold on to in the future. 

“This portfolio is made up of artworks I created throughout high school, so I love how I can see how I have grown as an artist over time,” Reddy said. 

“I Can’t Forget” is a portfolio of six colored pencil drawings, including “Introspection” that follow a common theme.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Helen Rodgers: "Christian"
Helen Rodgers: Christian

Junior Helen Rogers had three pieces that went scholastic. Two getting gold keys and one honorable mention. 

Rodgers's piece “Christian” is a charcoal drawing of her brother Christian.

Rodgers started by sketching her design onto tracing paper and then transferring to her final paper. 

Rodgers focused on refraction and reflection. 

“I concentrated on the contrast and proportion in the portrait,” Rodgers said. “I am very proud of how this piece came out.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Helen Rodgers: "Padre"
Helen Rodgers: Padre

Rodgers's print “Padre” is of her dad and her when she was a baby. 

“The photo I used as a reference is very nostalgic and represents the close relationship my dad and I have,” said Rodgers. “The reason behind the name is pretty simple, for the longest time I have called my dad Padre and it has just stuck.”

Rodgers print is a three-layered print, starting with the lightest colors and transitioning to the darkest colors.

“This was a very long and tedious process that was worth every hour,” Rodgers said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Zvi Witchel: "The Gasp"
Zvi Witchel: The Gasp

“The Gasp” by sophomore Zvi Witchel is a self-portrait of Witchel running up to her older brother trying to scare him. 

Witchel originally painted this because she wanted to try painting a blurry-quality photo and thought this would help her learn a new skill.  

“I’m really happy with how it turned out but I think I could have added more detail to the face,” Witchel said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Zvi Witchel: "Pining"
Zvi Witchel: Pining

Witchel’s painting “Pining” was a painting of a live model. 

“The model was dozing off because of the many hours she had to sit while being painted, which gave her a far away look in her eyes,” Witchel said. 

Witchel added the white background to make the piece more dynamic and make the model stand out. 

“I’m especially happy with this piece because of it being a live model,” Witchel said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

Maddie Yellman: "Behind the Wheel"
Maddie Yellman: Behind the Wheel

​Sophomore Maddie Yellman’s piece “Behind the Wheel” was a gift for her dad. 

“I am really happy with how it turned out but I wish I had some cleaner prints,” Yellman said. 

Yellman wanted to capture a really happy and pure memory that her and her dad shared. 

“I thought it would make a great print because I wanted to keep it very simple and mostly focus on capturing the expression and feeling, and making it as true to life as possible,” Yellman said.

Caption by Mira Patel.

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