Hannah Towler ’18 and Reagan Richardson ’18 joined more than 400 eleventh and twelfth grade student artists to exhibit their artwork and have it judged by a panel of jurors last Saturday. Students from more than 45 schools in Hampton Roads and North Carolina entered the competition, known as the Hampton Roads Student Gallery; only three finalists and 10 honorees were selected to exhibit their work in the Chrysler Museum of Art and Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
Entrant numbers this high pose quite a challenge when trying to place. Over thirty students from Norfolk Academy were highly encouraged to submit their work for the competition, and seniors Hannah and Reagan wowed the judging panel with their art.
Hannah won third place for her drawing "klgghq lq soldq vljkw”, which, using Caesar cipher to decode, translates to “hidden in plain sight.” The piece, created with markers and colored pencils, is featured in the Chrysler Museum of Art through March 4; it was inspired by her mother’s experience growing up under Cambodia’s communist regime and the carnage inflicted by the Khmer Rouge.
“Hannah is an original voice in the world,” said Mr. Knox Garvin, Hannah’s advisor and Upper School art teacher. “She is compelled to take all that she learns and transform it in the service of a larger vision.”
Reagan was awarded one of the 10 honoree spots for her work titled “Preservation”, which was made using altered driftwood, river stones, and resin. Her prize-winning piece is on display at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art until this Friday, February 16.
“Reagan is a positive source of support and insight in any learning environment,” said Mr. Garvin. “I would dare to say she is exceptional among a group of peers that are in themselves quite an exceptional group.”
The young artists were recognized by their peers and faculty members when Headmaster Dennis Manning congratulated them on Monday during Upper School chapel. He also took the opportunity to applaud and thank Mr. Greg Barton and Mr. Knox Garvin, Upper School art teachers, for their leadership of the art program, which includes courses in visual arts, three dimensional art, and art history.
Hannah and Reagan are also mentioned in an online article in The Virginian-Pilot, which includes photos of the finalists’ works of art.