By Melissa Moore
Out of the 567 Gold Key recipients in Massachusetts honored at the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards, four of these honors were awarded to students from Manchester-Essex, art teacher Marion Powers said.
Eighth-graders Ben Alger and Julia Whitten, junior Samantha Nieberle, and senior Rachel Jones received the awards.
According to Powers, Manchester-Essex did better than all other schools of its size in Massachusetts and better than many larger schools as well. The school had the highest number of winners in its history.
In both the middle and high school, 13 entries were awarded a Silver Key and 14 received an Honorable Mention, Powers said.
“I’m very happy, very proud of our art students and our program,” Powers said.
Jones was awarded a Gold Key for her senior portfolio in photography, consisting of eight images and a statement. According to art teacher Caroline Epp, this is the first time in a long time that a Manchester-Essex student has received a Gold Key for a photography portfolio.
“I’m very proud,” Epp said. “I’m particularly happy for Rachel Jones.”
The Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards judges select the recipients of these awards based on excellence in three criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision, Powers said. Despite Powers’ not liking “teaching to contests,” Manchester-Essex “had a strong showing,” she said.
The results of the competition show how dedicated Manchester-Essex art students are, Epp said.
“I am thankful for the support from the administration and community in supporting the art program,” she said.
“Our program will only become stronger,” Powers said.
The Gold Key and Silver Key artwork will be displayed in the State Transportation Building until April 7.