By Samantha Brown Dosher, Woodruff High School Art Teacher
As an art teacher I have the privilege to work with students throughout their high school career. I have always said that my job is not to create artists, but instead to create problem solvers and critical thinkers that will be able to make a lasting positive impact on their communities when they leave my classroom. I get to see students develop their craft, find their artistic voice, and thrive in a creative environment with their peers.
This year has been different in so many ways. I am spending my days reading and responding to emails to answer questions, instead of being able to demonstrate and watch my students create. I’m missing those moments where I can see the gears clicking into place when a student has mastered how to build a cardboard structure or realistically shade a face. One of the major changes for an art teacher and art student during this time of year is a lot of their shows and competitions have been affected by COVID-19.
Before the closure of school and quarantine, my students had entered and applied for multiple art shows, competitions and scholarship opportunities. Due to conscious attempts to control the spread and level the curve of COVID-19, all the receptions, awards days and banquets have been canceled. I applaud the teams that have worked so hard to create virtual galleries with images of artwork for each show in an attempt to recognize students’ amazing work, but it’s just not the same as having the picture of my student beside their work with its ribbon of acknowledgement.
This is especially sad for my seniors who will not be able to enter these competitions again or have all their awards announced at awards day. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to brag on these students who have time and time again put in the efforts to shine through their artwork at local, regional, and national platforms.
Class of 2020 art awards won throughout high school career:
- 1 Senior won a National Scholastic Gold Key
- 1 Senior won a National Scholastic Silver Key
- 1 Senior won a Southern Scholastic Silver Key Portfolio Recognition
- 1 Senior won four Southern Scholastic Gold Keys
- 1 Senior won 13 Southern Scholastic Silver Keys
- 11 Seniors won 25 Southern Scholastic Honorable Mention Awards
- 2 Seniors represented Woodruff High School in the 2020 ArtFields Jr. Competition
- 2 Seniors placed in their categories in the Young Women in Art Exhibition
- 1 Senior placed in Design and Color at the Annual Upstate High School Exhibition
- 2 Seniors placed in the top three overall in the Focus on Youth Art Show
- 2 Seniors had the honor of representing District 4 with their Christmas Card Design
I am so proud of these students and their accomplishments through the Woodruff High School Art Department. Though this isn’t the situation we ever thought we would be in, I truly believe that this group of seniors is going to be that much stronger because of it.
Congratulations to Kate Clark, Brandon Cooper, Anabel Evans, Kassidy Foster, Wendy Garcia, Miriam Gomez, Ryleigh Henderson, Kennedy Lawrence, Jacob Mossbrook, Caitlyn Morris, Silas Newton, Madison Phillips, Kylie Street, and Kinnidy Thoreson. I wish you all the best as this chapter ends and you move on to the next part of your journey.