Nine WHS students receive recognition in regional art contest

Post date: Feb 24, 2021 11:26:56 AM

The Wells High School Art Department announced earlier this winter that nine WHS students have received a combined total of 13 awards in this year’s Maine Region Scholastic Art Award Competition, a regional component of the National Scholastic Art and Writing Contest.

According to the Art department, the students’ work was evaluated by a panel of judges based on three criteria: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal vision or voice. The group received awards in the categories of Painting, Photography, Comic Art, Ceramics, and Drawing & Illustration. The Art Department at WHS includes Art teachers Emily Knight and Meredith Radford

“Art is meant to be shared,” commented Emily Knight. “I am exceptionally proud of these students who, despite the additional burdens, stressors, and isolating factors in their lives right now, have continued to push themselves academically and creatively and put their work out into the world. Although we aren't able to see the work displayed physically in Portland this year, I know how proud and deserving these students are for this recognition.”

Following is a list of the winners and the categories in which they placed: Lilly Arbelo, a Gold Key in Photography, a Silver Key in Painting and an honorable mention in Photography; Zoe Clark, a Gold Key in Photography and two honorable mentions in Photography; Anavi Curtiss, honorable mention in Comic Art; Anna Franks, honorable mention in Painting; Natalie Hanagan, honorable mention in Photography; Rosemary Norton, honorable mention in Comic Art; Kai Rosenberg, honorable mention in Ceramics & Glass; Quinn Tremblay, honorable mention in Drawing & Illustration; and Grace Ward, honorable mention in Drawing & Illustration. Gold Key recipients Arbelo and Clark have had their entries advanced to the national level of the contest. According to Knight, the winners at the national level will be announced sometime in March.

Founded in 1923, the National Scholastic Art and Writing Contest is described on its website ( as “The nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens.” The contest is presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and is open to 7th through 12th grade students. The contest is organized locally by the Maine College of Art in Portland. Due to the pandemic, a virtual exhibition of this year’s award-winning work can be found online at

(Contest examples courtesy of Wells High School Art Dept.)

Lilly Arbelo received a Gold Key award in Photography for her above photo.

Zoe Clark received a Gold Key in Photography for her above photo.

Grace Ward received an honorable mention in Drawing & Illustration for the above drawing.

Anavi Curtiss received an honorable mention in Comic Art for the above drawing.