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  • Natalee Batangan

Artists of the Century

The 60th Annual Hawaii Scholastic Art Awards are taking place! Here’s a look into Farrington’s Scholastic Art Award winners and pieces for 2023.

The 2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards marks the 100th anniversary since its creation in 1923. Maurice R. Robinson, the founder of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, believed that creative teens should be recognized for their literary and artistic talents, encouraged the creative spirit in youth, and helped develop a genuine appreciation for all forms of art.

Kamakani Konia, State Foundation of Cultural Arts project manager, carries on the legacy of one of the oldest student achievement recognition programs in the United States. “We engage young people with art experiences and create a professional pipeline for local student artists seeking to pursue a college major in the arts and a career in the cultural sector.”

Sylvia Plath, Hugh Gallagher, Jaida Jones, and many other Scholastic Award winners continue making history in the creative arts field. Ashley Barrientos, Hoang Ho, and Danaree Lafradez represent Farrington with their winning pieces from the photography, ceramics, and digital art categories on the 60th Annual Hawaii Regional Scholastic Art Awards.

Ashley Barrientos, class of 2023 and gold key winner, depicts the contrast between youth and old age in her “Happy Smiles” piece in the photography category. “The pink blossom symbolizes purity and youth, and (my grandmother’s) appearance and eyes in the photograph reflect a strong expression so genuine and raw about her that you become lost in them in admiration and amazement.”

As a part of her portfolio titled “Nana” showcasing unique and pure closeups of her grandmother, Barrientos intended to create a meaningful piece to symbolize and respect her grandmother’s efforts and independence in providing for her family.

Hoang Ho, class of 2023, won a silver key award in the ceramics category with his piece titled “Watercolor.” “During my vacation in Vietnam, I saw a landscape with buildings and water surrounding it. I decided to paint the landscape on my plate with glaze while using Monet-inspired impressionism techniques.”

As cultural roots combined with inspiration from Monet's artwork, Ho created a ceramic plate featuring vibrant strokes and dashes of color which won him regional recognition at the 60th Annual Scholastic Art Awards Ceremony.

Danaree Lafradez, class of 2023, won a silver key award with her piece “Reflection” in the digital art category. “The whole idea behind this piece is me trying to reflect back on how much I’ve progressed, how young I was as someone who is interested in art and wants to turn it into something more than that.”

Lafradez states that winning this award was unexpected for her, especially since it was more of an experimental piece. “I just felt kind of numb, I just wanted to get something out there.”

Many winning pieces across the state of Hawaii are being exhibited at the Hawaii State Art Museum from March 11, 2023, to May 6, 2023. Click here for more details. Let’s continue to congratulate and encourage our Farrington winners and future artists everywhere.

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