October 15, 2018
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  • SPHS senior Elizabeth Kiely (right) was recognized by Maryland’s first lady, Yumi Hogan, for her charcoal piece titled “Gramps” in the art exhibit at the Maryland House of Delegates.
    Photo courtesy of Joe Andrucyk
    SPHS senior Elizabeth Kiely (right) was recognized by Maryland’s first lady, Yumi Hogan, for her charcoal piece titled “Gramps” in the art exhibit at the Maryland House of Delegates.

Teen Artist’s Portrait Is On Display At House Of Delegates

Judy Tacyn
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January 10, 2018

Since 2015, Maryland’s first lady, Yumi Hogan, a world-class professional artist and instructor, through partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council, the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland Art Education Association, has curated some of the best artwork from every school jurisdiction in Maryland for biannual exhibits at the Maryland House of Delegates. Approximately 48 works of art by children in elementary, middle and high schools are selected for the exhibit.

Severna Park High School senior Elizabeth Kiely earned top honors in the fall 2017 competition’s high school category for her charcoal on newsprint entitled “Gramps.” At a December 4 ceremony at the House of Delegates, Kiely was presented with a medal of achievement and a government citation from Hogan.

“Gramps” was previously on display for an art show at Westfield Annapolis Mall. “The next thing I know, I received an email congratulating me on my piece being entered into the first lady’s art competition!” added Kiely. “My work has consistently gone to the art shows at the Annapolis Mall, but I have never received an award as prestigious or honorable as this!”

Christine Stewart, program director for the Maryland State Arts Council, said artwork is sorted by elementary, middle, and high school levels, and scored based on creativity (originality, innovation, different use of materials, experimental, exploration); technique (line, texture, shape, form, space, value, color, rhythm, movement, balance, proportion, variety, unity, emphasis, handing/use of media); craftsmanship (neatness, show ready, overall presentation, handling of media); and concept (content achieves desired outcome in a masterful way).

Kiely originally created “Gramps” during an art class in spring semester of her junior year.  “We were instructed to create a high-contrast portrait using charcoal on newsprint,” she said. “When deciding what subject I wanted to do, I was hesitant to choose something with as much detail as I did because I knew it would take forever. However, I knew I wanted to focus on nailing the tiny details, like in photo realism, in order to challenge myself and strengthen my skill.”

Kiely said she was right about how long it would take to get her piece to where she wanted it to be. It was “about one and a half months of work,” she said. “All the effort was extremely rewarding, as I not only got a lot better at what was once a weakness of mine, but I was also recognized for my hard work.”

Kiely has been creating art for as long as she can remember. “My mother is an artist herself,” she said, “so growing up in a household that encouraged creativity and artistic freedom really helped me grow as an artist and a person.”

The young artist said her mentors are her mother and her art teacher from Severna Park High School, Suzanne Dattelbaum. “They have both helped me grow immensely in my artistic abilities and confidence in creating art,” Kiely said.

“The incredible art teachers are what make the SPHS art department stand out to me,” added Kiely. “Their passion for art and watching students grow has made my experience as an art student phenomenal.”

Emily Cory, fine arts project consultant with the Maryland State Department of Education, worked closely with Hogan in 2015 to develop the art competition and exhibit.

“What better way to elevate the arts than to showcase our students’ work and display it in front of the legislators responsible for determining funding for the arts?” asked Cory.

“It’s a wonderful event to showcase exceptional art,” she continued. “The first lady takes the time to speak to each child personally, asks questions about their piece and their inspiration, and then poses for a photo. The students leave with a lot of confidence.”

Kiely said her favorite artist is Leonardo DaVinci, “because he was able to incorporate his innovative scientific mind into his artistic endeavors.”

She is undecided on where she will attend college next fall, but she plans to study neuroscience and minor in art while also exploring the relationship between art and the human brain.

The prestigious jurors were Zoë Charlton, associate professor of art at American University in Washington, D.C., and a councilor for the Maryland State Arts Council; Constance Del Nero, director of ArtReach and community programs at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland; and M.C. Pratt, a native Baltimorean, and world-renowned artist and poet.

This year’s gallery includes 36 pieces (22 from the high-school level, five from the middle-school level, and nine from the elementary-school level). Each Maryland district is welcome to provide up to two pieces for this exhibition.

The First Lady’s Fall Student Artwork Exhibit is currently on display in the Maryland House of Delegates Gallery Space at the Lowe House Office Building (6 Bladen Street in Annapolis) through mid-March.

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