Fraser High students recognized for artistic talent

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published February 6, 2018

 Fraser High School student Xandria Sink was awarded a $300 scholarship for the College for Creative Studies’ Summer Intensive Art Program for her photo “Born of Frustration.” It was part of this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Fraser High School student Xandria Sink was awarded a $300 scholarship for the College for Creative Studies’ Summer Intensive Art Program for her photo “Born of Frustration.” It was part of this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Photo provided by Fraser Public Schools

 Student Camilla Madacki was honored in CCS’ “Best In” category for her hawk sculpture called “Take Flight.”

Student Camilla Madacki was honored in CCS’ “Best In” category for her hawk sculpture called “Take Flight.”

Photo provided by Fraser Public Schools

FRASER — Local students are flexing their collective artistic muscle once again this year.

Fraser High School art students had 40 pieces selected for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards regional contest, which includes Macomb, Lapeer, Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties. The awards honor visual art and writing from some of the most talented creative students nationwide.

Approximately 2,600 individual pieces and 68 portfolios were submitted from the local region. Approximately 560 of the 2,600 individual pieces, and 38 of the 68 portfolios, were selected to be part of the show. Submissions cost $5 each.

FHS art teacher Roger Drabant explained that the awards are tiered in three categories: honorable mention, Silver Key and Gold Key. Approximately 250 honorable mentions, 180 Silver Keys and 130 Gold Keys were awarded. The Gold Key winners are eligible to advance to national judging at Carnagie Hall in New York City. FHS has had 11 national award winners in the past 10 years.

The high school also had four portfolios accepted. Portfolios can only be entered by seniors, and they include underlying themes — revolving around color, material, subject matter and more — and include about eight pieces that are judged separately from the individual pieces.

In the portfolio category, Savannah Lorenz earned two Gold Keys in photography; Rachel Media earned a Gold Key in photography; and Benjamin Ratterman earned a Gold Key in drawing.

“It’s an honor for the students to be selected from us, as the teachers,” said Drabant, who works in the art department with Marianne McGinnis. “They should be feeling good about just being thought of to have a piece worthy to submit. To get a piece into the show when they only accept about 20 percent of the pieces is even better.”

At the local awards ceremony Jan. 29 at the Lorenzo Cultural Center in Clinton Township, school officials found out that student Camilla Madacki was honored in the College for Creative Studies “Best In” category for her hawk sculpture called “Take Flight.” Student Xandria Sink was awarded a $300 scholarship to CCS’ Summer Intensive Art Program for her photo “Born of Frustration.”

Student Kasey Ley, who earned a Silver Key in drawing and an honorable mention in photography, found inspiration through simple direction.

“My teacher wanted us to take something small and draw it on a large scale,” Ley said.

Drabant has gone to Carnagie Hall five times when FHS students have been invited. He said the event is “a major culmination of the arts,” featuring guest speakers like Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Alec Baldwin. Students get to meet, interact with and discuss their art with the stars.

The contest represents a real “who’s who” of art, he noted, with past winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and John Updike.

“(The students) do phenomenal work and it’s a pleasure being around them and their creativeness, and nurturing it and pushing it or prodding and whatever I do,” Drabant said. “It’s fun seeing their efforts being rewarded in any way, but in this way is special.”

A complete list of regional winners can be found at www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu.