By Sloane M. Perron, Manager of Marketing Communications  

Anna Maria College’s New England Secondary School Virtual Art & Design Competition is a celebration of the artistic youths that live in the region. The exhibit gives secondary students and high schoolers the opportunity to submit original works and participate in what is typically the first gallery experience for many of these young artists.

The new virtual format allowed 93 students from 5 different school to participate. Running from December to February, this year’s exhibit categories included Digital Design, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture/3D, and Video.

Even after 29 years of supporting budding artists, each year brings new perspective, excitement, and appreciation to those involved such as Anna Maria’s Director of Art and Culture, David Wackell.

“It’s always a pleasure to see the development of the artists year to year. Most memorable for me, were the questions and conversations that happened with the artists over email. Not often will someone ask directly for a critique of their work, and with the motive of obtaining excellence in skill,” Wackell said, “I am seeing a return to the verve and drive of students to really hone their skill, and interestingly to have this same drive across diverse mediums – like painting, photography, digital art, and drawing. This year’s students had an overall sense of exploration, rising to challenges, and drive that made working with them a pleasure.”

All the artwork submitted to the competition is presented to a panel made up of Anna Maria’s Art and Design Faculty who determine the best works in a blind jury format. Winners are given certificates along with gift cards to C.C. Lowell, the oldest art supply store in the United States which is located in Worcester. Additionally, scholarships to study Art at Anna Maria College are also given to three high school seniors whose work is not only outstanding, but often shows a commitment to their practice throughout many areas of artistic interest and even year to year.

After coordinating the art exhibit for several years, Wackell has some words of wisdom to share with students eager to enter next year’s competition.

“Bring your work to a recursive level, a place where you can hear the answers to your questions within what you make Above all, bring your work to bear: is it enduring; does it rise above the derivative din of pop culture; if it carries a message, is it one worth sharing? Most importantly, simply enter the exhibition,” Wackell said, “This makes you part of an exciting art community where you get to be challenged, and your artwork seen and enjoyed by your peers … and by all of us here at Anna Maria. I, for one, cannot wait to see what new art next year will bring!”

Awards from the 29th Annual Secondary School Art/Design Exhibition were bestowed on the following students:

Drawing Merit Award:

Kayleigh Williams from Oakmont Regional High School

Angela  Zhang from Shrewsbury High School

Sarah Edwardsen from Shrewsbury High School

Lucia Greene from Shrewsbury High School

Painting Merit Award:

Qingmei (Tina) Wang from Worcester Academy

London Pano from Shrewsbury High School

Jennie Cao from Shrewsbury High School

Lucia Greene from Shrewsbury High School

Digital Design Merit Award:

Sabina Gill from Worcester Academy

Quiann Sun from Shrewsbury High School

Wenqing Xu from Worcester Academy

Photography Merit Award:

London Pano from Shrewsbury High School

Tyler Boyce from Oakmont Regional High School

William Harvey from Worcester Academy

Chloe Stavely from Franklin High School

Mixed Media Merit Award:

Tatiana Vukicevich from Paul VI High School

Victoria Rassias from Worcester Academy

Hannah Peer from Oakmont Regional High School

Aryah Rahman from Shrewsbury High School

3-D Merit Award:

Vic Vallee from Oakmont Regional High School

Aanya Sachdeva from Shrewsbury High School

Hannah Lambert from Shrewsbury High School

Madison Abasciano from Shrewsbury High School

Scholarship Award:

Kayleigh Williams from Oakmont Regional High School

London Pano from Shrewsbury High School

Tyler Boyce from Oakmont Regional High School

For more information about the art competition visit: