The Arts News

Mid-Pacific students recognized with Regional Scholastic Art Awards

Student artwork to be displayed at the Hawaii State Art Museum now through April

Posted on January 27, 2017 by Scot Allen

Three Mid-Pacific students earned gold and silver key awards in the 54th Annual Hawaii Regional Scholastic Art Awards. Senior Bridget O'Connor, junior Lianghong Ke and freshman Judith Tamayo will exhibit their work at the Hawaii State Art Museum through April. The awards ceremony is set for Saturday, Feb. 25.

O'Connor's Gold Key work will also be judged on a national level for potential inclusion in the New York City exhibition.

Bridget O'Connor, grade 12
Gold key painting & drawing and illustration
Silver key mixed media, drawing and illustration
Teacher: Jill Johnson


Bridget O'Connor

Bridget has been busy creating art for as long as she can remember. "I can't imagine not creating," she said. One of the colleges on her short list is UCLA.

"Ever since I picked up a crayon in preschool I've enjoyed drawing," Bridget said. "I'm sure this is the case with many other artists, but it's true for me too. In the beginning, it was only a hobby but as I grew I ended up devoting more and more of my time to my art, and now I hope to pursue it as a career."

Bridget takes her inspiration from a diverse group of artists: Edgar Degas, Rembrandt, Hayao Miyazaki, Kenneth Paul Block and "also pretty much all the Disney movies."

Like her three peers, Bridget loves how the artistic process helps her deal with stress. And she, like fellow key winners, was surprised when the awards were announced.

"The gold key recognition Bridget received in the Scholastic competition recognizes her dedication and passion to creating artwork both in and out of school, and as a meaningful activity she consistently does in many areas of her life," said Teacher Jill Johnson. "The recognition honors her self-driven character to enact projects independently and to her chosen aesthetic design. Visual artists often focus their expression of ideas or opinions to be within their artwork, so recognitions of this nature push the artist to articulate themselves verbally or in writing, enhancing the important skill of communicating to an audience. This is an area of growth I see in Bridget, as she more comfortably and openly articulates the ideas and goals within her work."

Judith Tamayo, grade 9
Silver key, ceramics & glass
Teacher: Daven Hee


Judith Tamayo

This is Judith's second year taking ceramics. She said that she loves the way ceramics helps you forget stress, and allows the artist to "show all of your feelings through the clay." Her project is comprised of several thin sheets of clay that she created via the slab roller. These clay palettes were then connected to form the cylinder. She then pushed out the walls to create more volume... and the characters themselves. This piece contains both glaze and paint and was fired several times to achieve its unique depth of finish.

"Judith's piece was clever in that it played with the idea of the tortoise and the hare," said Teacher Daven Hee. "The colorful, cylindrical piece literally has no beginning and no end... who won?!"

Lianghong Ke, grade 11
Silver key digital art
Teacher: Jen Goya


Lianghong Ke

Lianghong's award-winning entry "Floating" is the product of many hours of experimentation using PhotoShop. "I like putting different things together to see how it looks an feels," he said. With the help of his friends and some extremely graphic looking trees on campus, he created "Floating." He plans on pursuing art in college, perhaps at CalArts.

"Lianghong Ke is very deserving of the Silver Key award because he put in serious time and effort to create a series of images that explored the topic of loneliness," said Teacher Jen Goya. "The image that was selected for the Silver Key won in the Digital Art category because he blended several original images and manipulated them to what appears in the final composition. This required Lianghong to use new digital imaging techniques that were challenging for him. I'm glad he took that risk because now his work will now be on exhibit for others to appreciate."

Goya noted that students have the freedom to choose their own creative themes and explore new and familiar digital media techniques. "Seeing my students become more confident about their artwork has encouraged me to continue to keep making personal voice through student choice a significant part of the class," she said.

  • Bridget O'Connor, grade 12

  • Bridget O'Connor, grade 12

  • Bridget O'Connor, grade 12

  • Bridget O'Connor, grade 12

  • Bridget O'Connor, grade 12

  • Lianghong Ke, grade 11

  • Judith Tamayo, grade 9