Making Her Maar-k on the Art World

by Nick Mannion
Staff Writer

Jamesville-DeWitt High School just keeps adding onto its reputation as one of the best high schools in the nation, with a senior receiving the opportunity to have her art piece shown across the country. Senior Emily Maar won the American Visions Award for her self portrait drawing, titled “Blue Self Portrait.” Maar has also earned recognition, winning a painting award at the 2016 Annual High School Senior Show & Competition for her painting “Petrichor.”

She was chosen for this award in January by a panel of scholastic judges. Around 5,000 pieces were entered into the Scholastic Art competition, and 1,433 pieces were given awards. Maar’s piece was one of five nominated to win the award, and Maar’s piece won. “I feel very happy about winning this,” said Maar.

Maar’s piece will travel around the country for the next two years, being displayed in many museums. The awards ceremony is to be on June 2 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Maar says she will be attending the ceremony. “I’m really excited, because Carnegie Hall is a big deal,” said Maar.  

This award isn’t the only national award that Maar has won. Maar won a silver medal for water coloring in eighth grade. “It’s nice have won an award my first year and my last year,” said Maar. Maar says this was her favorite piece to draw even though it’s not her favorite out of all of her drawings and paintings she’s completed throughout the years.

Maar says she got the inspiration for her drawing from a picture that was taken by her friend, senior Maggie Mannion. She chose to draw this piece because she thought the picture was “spooky,” and that it would make a good drawing. Mannion says that she is “honored” that Maar chose to make a drawing based on her picture. Mannion did not submit the picture to scholastic, but she thinks it was well represented by Maar. Besides Mannion, Maar has many other artistic friends, like senior Rebecca Shen. “I’m super proud of Emily. This is a huge accomplishment,” said Shen. Shen was also nominated for the American Visions Award, but lost out to Maar; “I didn’t mind losing much, because I lost to such an amazing artist,” said Shen. Shen also won the John D. Barrow Art Gallery Award, the Onondaga Community College Award for Best Fine Arts Portfolio.

Along with Maar’s friends, her teachers are proud of her too. “She deserves this award, she’s worked very hard, and her work is exceptional,” said Art teacher Carl Wenzel. Along with Mr. Wenzel, Art teacher Carlos Benedict says that Maar’s award is “really a great thing.” Maar contributes her success to her teachers, “I wouldn’t have done nearly as well as I have without them,” said Maar. Both teachers have been teaching Maar for around three years. Maar says she plans to go to Skidmore College to study studio art there. Mr. Wenzel says he’ll miss everything about Maar when she graduates, “she’s a very good student, and a very nice young lady,” said Mr. Wenzel. “Her talents can take her anywhere she wants,” said Mr. Benedict.