South Lakes High Students Win Art Awards

South Lakes High Students Win Art Awards

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers recognizes their talents.


Gabriella Baugh, 17, of Reston – one Gold Key Award: "Art for me is one thing I can always count on."


Keita Heinrich, 17, of Herndon – three Gold Key Awards and four Honorable Mentions: "I had never submitted to an art contest before. Pleasantly surprised by the result."


Phoebe Liu, 16, of Reston – three Silver Key Awards: "For me doing art isn't about feeling happy as much as feeling normal. Drawing is just a natural state of existence for me."


Lily Vogel, 18, of Reston – one Gold Key Award: "Finding out I had won was great. Finding out I won Gold for Animation was better. My passion is artistic storytelling. I want to be an animator. Being recognized for my passion is amazing."

South Lakes High School announced the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers named 14 of their students recipients of the 2018 Scholastic Art Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition initiative for creative teens in grades 7-12.

Praising the school's art department and award winners, Kimberly Retzer, South Lakes High School principal, said, "South Lakes is incredibly proud of our amazing Art Program. We are excited to have 26 Awards/Honorable Mentions recognized in the Scholastic Art Competition this year."

The website for the Scholastic Awards states the young artists and writers were free to explore any and all topics; there were no pre-defined prompts, and no work would ever be disqualified from the Scholastic Awards because of the nature of its content. As for judging criteria, three areas dominated: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

Matt Ravenstahl, Art Department Chair at South Lakes, said, "We are extremely proud of these students and the importance of arts in our school. These students utilized art making to engage experience and construct meaning in regard to a deeper self."

The artists who received either or both Gold Key and Silver Key Awards will be celebrated in a ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus, Ernst Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Their artwork will be on exhibition there Feb. 9-March 15, 2018.

The South Lakes High School students named honored recipients of the Fairfax County Art Region 2018 Regional Scholastic Art Award are: Gabrielle Baughman, one Gold Key; Clark Bautista, one Gold Key; Maya Bollino, one Silver Key; Elena Castrence, one Gold Key; Luis Zevallos Garate, one Silver Key; Keita Heinrich, three Gold Keys and four Honorable Mentions; Phoebe Liu, three Silver Keys; Maija Louko, one Honorable Mention; Megan Pickell, one Gold Key; Austin Shea, one Silver Key; Kai Thompson, one Gold Key and two Silver Keys; Lily Vogel, one Gold Key; Max Wiegand, one Honorable Mention, and Sophie Wilson two Silver Keys and one Honorable Mention.

The artists whose works received a Gold Key Award – Baughman, Castrence, Heinrich, Pickell, Thompson, and Vogel – will advance to the national level.