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Orion student's art honored at regional level

Seniors Jazmin Biernat, left and Lizzy Milne pose with their passions. Biernat holds the piece that won her a Gold Key award while Milneís photography made her the AVA winner for Orionís region. Photos by T. Gribbin. (click for larger version)
February 29, 2012 - By Tahra Gribbin

Review Intern

The Detroit-Based College for Creative Studies recently held it's yearly competition for talented youth where judges rate different art and writing pieces.

This year, Lake Orion, who usually does well in the competition, went above and beyond with winners at both the middle school and high school levels.†

Two of the five American Vision Award (AVA) winners for the region were LOHS seniors Jonathan D'Ambrosio and Lizzy Milne. They submitted among the five best pieces chosen from the artwork entered in the Southeastern Michigan Regional competition.

(click for larger version)
The winners of the local AVA will represent their region in the national competition, the results of which will be released sometime in late March.

Jonathan D'Ambrosio, whose short film "The Violin" won a Gold Key as well as a nomination for the national competition, was getting attention from the likes of the President and CEO of the American Film Institute who called him to let him admire his work personally. D'Ambrosio claims that getting attention for films is "all about who you know." His advice to those looking to break into the film industry is "try and get your work out there and enter as many film festivals as you can."

Jonathan found his inspiration for the film in a violin he received recently, yet for some, inspiration can be difficult to unearth.

Jazmin Biernat, a senior whose Gold Key concentration about reaction to light said the most important thing for an artist is to "be creative" and suggests those interested in taking an AP art class at LOHS should "prepare ahead of time to have ideas before the class starts and don't procrastinate."

Milne offered the same advice and added "AP art is a lot harder than what it sounds like, but it's really rewarding. Milne and Biernat, both who were recognized for their photography came up with their concentrations out of the desire "to do something deep." Out of that desire, both girls went in two very different directions - Milne's AVA nominated piece, "Misunderstood Riley," came out of an afternoon she and senior Riley McCurry, fellow AP art student and Gold Key winner, shared earlier in the year.†

"McCurry gave me the idea." Milne said. "We were sitting trying to think of new ideas, she put something in her hair and I just went with it so my concentration is her with things that represent her in her hair."

Many of the competitors said their involvement with art began with family.

"My mother is an artist so it was a natural path for me to pursue through my high school career." said McCurry who won multiple awards. "For anyone interested in pursuing art, I suggest learning how to accept and grow from constructive criticism."

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