Three Pennington School senior students have placed in first and second, respectively, at the 2019 Phillips’ Mill Youth Art Exhibition.
The Youth Art Exhibition (YAE) is an annual contest that began in 2014. According to the Phillips’ Mill Community Association, the Youth Art Exhibition was created to build on the success of the Phillips’ Mill adult Art Exhibition. The YAE gets participation from the art departments of high schools located within a 25-mile radius of Phillips’ Mill, which is located in New Hope, Pa.
Placing first in the painting category was Ada Lau, a student from the Pennington School with an art piece called, “Last Stop of the Journey.”
“This piece was about my experience two years ago in Malaysia,” Ada said. “It was about the relationship between humans and nature. While I was there I saw the sunset at the time and it was lodged into my memory. I put it into my painting.”
For Ada she has been studying painting for 12 years, and has been studying art since her sophomore year at Pennington. Her piece for YAE took months to create.
“I appreciated getting first place. I am so happy I got it, because last year I received second place,” she said.
She said she chooses to paint art as a way to express to people her opinions on several things.
Ada has received influence from painting and drawing teacher, Caroline Hall at the Pennington School.
“When Ada finished her piece months ago, I took it from her and hung it in the hallway. Everyday I would come to class I would look at it,” Hall said. “It was a great lesson and communication between Ada and I on her piece for the exhibit.”
Her Pennington classmate, Laura Alaez from Trenton, also placed first with her piece in the photography category, it was titled “Doll Life.”
“The way the model was posed I felt as though she looked like a doll,” Laura said when describing her winning piece. “[The model] is a friend of mine and she is a ballerina. I knew that she was basically living the life of a doll. She has to be perfect and has to be an example of beauty in a way. That is why I decided to name the piece ‘Doll Life.’”
Laura said she appreciated being recognized as an artist and that she had recently been taking her photography more seriously.
“It was a very gratifying experience to be able to share with the community. I think that I being a part of the show reiterated that anyone can be an artist,” Laura said.
Laura has been at Pennington for seven years and became more involved with the art department during her freshman year.
“With photography I enjoy the human interaction and being able to portray someone the way that I interpret them. I want to shine a light on something unique that the individual may not typically demonstrate,” Laura said.
Mark Ross, the photography teacher at Pennington, said he was confident in Laura’s piece and really enjoyed her work.
“There are some really talented young photographers, so when you have a student of yours that wins it is a big thrill,” Ross said.
Placing second in the 3-D Works category of the Youth Art Exhibition was Max Ward, with his pottery piece called “Reverse Drip.”
“I have always done pottery while I have been at Pennington. I definitely had it in mind that I wanted to do a 3-D piece,” Max said.
He said he was surprised to receive his award for second place and felt it was an honor.
“When I went to the exhibit to get the award, I looked at the other pieces and they were also really good. I just felt really honored that they had chosen my piece over so many other great pieces,” Max said.
Max said that his work of art took more than two hours to make.
“I was hesitant at first to submit my piece because I did not know if my piece would do that well. After I submitted it I received the award so I guess it was good enough,” Max laughed.
Dolores Eaton, the pottery teacher at Pennington was overjoyed for Max.
“I felt happy for Max. He is a technical potter. For him to have a finished piece and it be recognized, I was just happy for him,” Eaton said.
The three Pennington seniors competed with students from more than twenty different private and public high schools.
The exhibit will have their artwork displayed until Feb. 17.
For more information about the exhibit contact the Phillips’ Mills Community Association at www.phillipsmill.org or 215-862-0582.