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Brandon students shine at Regional Scholastic Art competition



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February 20, 2013 - Forever.

This is Wendy Hagan's response when asked how long she has been interested in art. "Forever" isn't actually that long in her case, she's only in eighth grade, but the Brandon Middle School student is already showing artistic promise as the winner of two Gold Keys in the 2013 Southeast Michigan Regional Scholastic Art competition.

"Drawing is my niche," said Hagan, and indeed, her awards came in that category, for "Caligo," and for "Do Not Offend the Locals."

She touches her earrings, miniature gold keys, as she talks about receiving the awards and an accompanying $500 scholarship. Both of her winning drawings will go on to national competition.

"I was disbelieving at first, but it was exciting and a big honor."

Her classmate, Audrey Barratt-McCartney, set a BMS record by receiving four awards in the show— all honorable mentions— for the sculpture, "5 Birds on a Wire," the comic art, "Aaaaaaa!!!" and mixed media pieces, "Abandon Chaos" and "My Imperfect Self." She won a $250 scholarship.

Barratt-McCartney had entered 13 pieces total and was surprised at the ones the judges selected for honors as she liked some of her other work better.

"It's all in the eye of the beholder," she said. "I felt very honored. I'm really excited and feel like opportunities are really opening up."

Barratt-McCartney was planning to attend her first college-level class at the Flint Institute of Art Wednesday night. She will attend classes there for the next three years as she works on pre-college art portfolio development, referred by her BMS art teacher Jody Daniels. Daniels teaches not only Hagan and Barratt-McCartney, but two other winners in the Scholastic competition— Lily Stotz, who won a Silver Key for ther mixed media piece titled, "Dream," and Katerina Leskie, who won a Silver Key for her sculpture, "Lizard." Tyler Baker, a Brandon High School sophomore, was also a winner, receiving a Silver Key for "Paper Bowl," a sculpture. He is taught by Jennifer Bland.

"I'm continually awestruck of the students' art, with their creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking," said Daniels, who entered a total of 37 works by students. "It's disappointing for students who don't get in, but they are already winners just by being entered... You don't quit, you just keep going."

Winning artwork is on display at the College for Creative Studies Walter B. Ford Building in Detroit from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday until March 8.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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