Art competition inspires insight

Students display age from a different point of view


Sophomore Mary Gleason works on Adobe Photoshop during Photo 2. Photo 2 students are participating in an art contest for middle school and high school students centered around the theme of aging.

Photography teacher Martha Ortman said she got the idea for her class project because of an email from Megan Hibma, a communications manager at a nonprofit association for the elderly.

“I received an email from a woman at this nonprofit organization saying ‘hey, would you be interested in submitting any artwork for this competition?’ It is free to middle school and high school students,” Ortman said.

Ortman said the goal of her class project is to use art to convey aging in a positive light.

“The aging process is not typically viewed in a positive way,” Ortman said. “I thought it would be easiest to do with my photoshop classes. So I thought that would be kind of a cool, practical, potentially meaningful assignment that could be incorporated into a contest.”

Junior Rafferty Kugler said she doesn’t want to contribute her work to contest but still thinks the assignment is a good outlet for students to express themselves

“I don’t plan on submitting my artwork because I am artistically challenged,” Kugler said. “But I think it’s a great way for students to share their opinions and help people see the wisdom and experience that comes with aging.”

Senior Ernesto Garcia said the assignment isn’t focused on skill, but on imagination.

“I mean it’s not really testing your abilities but more of your creativity so it makes students think a little deeper” Garcia said.

There are cash prizes for the best art submissions, according to Ortman.

“If they win, the winning prize gets $100, second prize gets $75 and third prize gets $50.”

Junior Martha Walton said the assignment demonstrates the good that comes in maturing to an older age.

“I think it is good for young artists because it shows that we always have to be happy no matter what happens even if we have disabilities in our lives,” Walton said. “Just keep pushing through.”

The “What Does Aging Mean to You?” Art and Composition Contest is free for all middle school and high school students to enter. The submission deadline is April 4.