Buchanan junior wins two awards in regional art judging

Published 2:34 pm Friday, February 5, 2021

BUCHANAN – A Buchanan High School junior will have two pieces of her work exhibited at the annual 2021 Scholastic Art Awards exhibition at the South Bend Museum of Art from Feb. 5 through March 13.

Shannon Center’s digital art piece, “Pierrot” garnered an honorable mention, and her printmaking piece, “Vertigo” earned a Gold Key recognition. The Gold Key winning places her in the top 5 to 7 percent of all regional submissions.

The Scholastic Art Awards’ Northwest Indiana and Southwest Lower Michigan region includes Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties in Michigan, along with 15 counties in northwest Indiana.

“I’ve always done art, ever since I was a toddler,” Center said. “I really started learning good techniques with how to do things. I’ve really grown in the past few years.”

Center said her work leans toward a “creepy” style, but she is also focusing on doing more character design.

Center’s favorite mediums to work with are digital and marker.

“They are both very clean,” she said, noting how markers blend well. “[Marker] looks unreal on a piece of paper. It looks like a digital piece.”

“Pierrot” is a digital piece that radiates and lights up off the screen.

“I really wanted to make another one, I’m happy that one was chosen,” Center said.

She said her printmaking piece, “Vertigo,” was the first successful print she had made.

“It’s the biggest, and the first dual colored print, as well,” she said. “It took me forever to get it lined up.”

Center’s art instructor at BHS, Sandra Miller, said each year, art students enter the competitive exhibition each year.

“Local jurors judge thousands of submissions in which about one third are selected as the best of the best,” Miller said. “This gives students an opportunity to compete at the level of art they are at.”

Art classes have had to adapt to COVID-19 precautions, as students have gone between remote learning and in-person classrooms.

“The students use materials they have available to them,” Miller said. “They received a small art kit from the school, but a lot of students like Shannon, who are really into their artwork, bring supplies that they work with at home.”

Miller is proud of her students continually adapting throughout the past year with their artwork.

“We have a lot of really talented artists,” Miller said. “It’s so important the arts are highlighted for students who are working very hard. They deserve to have recognition for the work they’re doing.”

Miller said with nearly all communications being digital, access to physical artwork being made has been more difficult. This opportunity gives area students recognition in the arts arena.

Center’s pieces will be on display in the South Bend Museum of Art Warner and Jerome J. Crowley Community Galleries through March 13.

With Center’s Gold Key award for “Vertigo,” the piece will advance to the National Adjudication in New York City, where those receiving awards at the national level will have their pieces displayed in noted galleries. There will be an awards ceremony in Carnegie Hall, and Center will be considered for scholarships, invited to attend workshops and be recognized in The New York Times.

Information about the virtual awards ceremony hosted at noon on Sunday, Feb. 7, and the exhibition, may be found at SouthBendArt.org, and at the South Bend Museum of Art’s Facebook page.