Education is Essential

COVID-19 has presented a tremendous challenge for Saint Ignatius High School to balance our mission of providing an academically rigorous, Catholic, Jesuit education along with the health and safety recommendations of leading healthcare experts. On Monday, March 15, students returned to full-day, in-person learning.

Saint Ignatius High School

Makers of Art, Makers of Hope

Once again, Saint Ignatius students have been recognized in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. Their remarkable, award-winning pieces have been inspired by their own life experiences, including life during the pandemic.

“They’re not only open to growth, they crave it.”
 
That’s the high praise that visual arts teacher Julianna Burrows has for the four Saint Ignatius seniors who have been recognized this year in the Scholastic Art & Writing competition. Andrew Boeckman ’21, Frank McHugh ’21, Joseph Richmond ’21 and Philip Sutherland ’21 together collected 11 honors for pieces submitted for judging in the nearly 100-year-old exhibition.
 
Six of Richmond’s pieces were recognized, while Sutherland had three receive awards. Boeckman, McHugh and Richmond all received Gold Key honors, which means their artwork will move on to national judging.
 
“These student artists chose to propel their creativity and artistic expression during one of the most difficult times they’ve ever faced. They chose to make art as a way to sort through their own thoughts and feelings, as a way to channel their energy, as a way to have some fun, as a way to illustrate what they believe in, and as a way to inspire peace. They used art to strengthen themselves and in turn to strengthen others,” says Burrows.
 
“They, along with many other student artists in our community, sought joy through creativity. They chose to pick up that paintbrush, to write that story, to go on that stage, to play that song. They chose to focus on what they could do when it was difficult to ignore what they could not do. They are makers of art and makers of hope.”
 
Collectively, the 11 submissions represent a variety of artistic approaches and techniques, from mixed media to painting, printmaking, photography and other expanded forms. Richmond and Sutherland each had complete portfolios receive recognition from Scholastic.

Some of Richmond’s work has already been on display in the Math Wing since early in the school year. The piece, called “Unity,” is best described as a tree of positive thoughts, made of Post-it Notes, the roots of which have grown throughout the fall. In tones of blue, pink and yellow, encouraging words have sprouted like leaves over several months as students have added their own voices to the project.
 
For Burrows, watching these student-artists mature over their four years has been rewarding. Beyond their own improved skills, they have grown as visionaries and co-collaborators in bringing their visions to fruition.
 
“I have worked with all four of these students for years now, and their growth is inspiring,” Burrows says. “They have developed into some of the most imaginative, reflective, experimental, and skilled student artists I have ever taught. It is not only the artwork they produce that’s impressive, it’s the way they interpret their ideas, provide feedback to one another, and thoughtfully critique their work that really illustrates their growth.  They’re not only open to growth—they crave it.”
 
According to Scholastic, all works are blindly adjudicated by more than 100 affiliates of the organization. “Works are judged on originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.”
 
Nationwide honors should be announced sometime in the spring. Congratulations once again to these tremendously talented student-artists, their families and teachers!

2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Honorees and Submissions

Student Submission Title Medium Award
Andrew Boeckman '21 Guilt in Quarantine Mixed Media Gold Key
Frank McHugh '21 yearbook scars Photography Gold Key
Joseph Richmond '21 Resilience Art Portfolio Gold Key
Joseph Richmond '21 Unity Expanded Projects Gold Key
Joseph Richmond '21 From the Same Colors Mixed Media Silver Key
Joseph Richmond '21 Strong Individuals, Powerful Body Mixed Media Honorable Mention
Joseph Richmond '21 Good News Mixed Media Honorable Mention
Joseph Richmond '21 Resilience Painting Honorable Mention
Philip Sutherland '21 Human Day Art Portfolio Honorable Mention
Philip Sutherland '21 A White Grimace Pressed Against the Firmament Painting Silver Key
Philip Sutherland '21 Relief Printmaking Honorable Mention