DHS Junior Wins Scholastic Art Award

Kelly Finnegan, Reporter

Anyone with exceptional talent in the arts has the opportunity to receive recognition for their work. Out of over 6,000 art pieces, DHS’s Jr. Aubrey Hirst is in the spotlight for her work.

The Scholastic Art Awards are a big deal for students all over the U.S, Canada, and American schools abroad. They compete in hopes of winning awards, Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, American Visions & Voices Nominations, on regional or national levels.

In the Awards, students submit to different categories. Judges evaluate the work, and decide whether the art will move up to be judged on higher  levels. The top pieces will be judged nationally in New York City. For winning nationally, you have the opportunity to win scholarships

Students in grades 7-12 are eligible to compete. In 2017 alone, there were over 6,000 art pieces submitted from over 2,200 students.

Aubrey Hirst has taken home five awards so far for her photography. She applied in the photography category, and winning five out of her seven submissions caught people’s attention. One of her pieces is to be judged at a national level.

“I take photos that can be incredibly disturbing and in many ways even offensive,” said Hirst. Three of the five photos featured symbols or words addressing gender and sexual orientation.

“They have a really powerful feeling or message behind them, which I think is why people respond to them,” said Roxanne Mitchell, the digital photography teacher, expressing her thoughts about Aubrey’s work.

Hirst’s mother, Michelle, also had something to say about her daughter’s pieces.

The posed photography is generally to make a social statement and is often rewarded by the Scholastic judges,” said Michelle Hirst, Aubrey’s mother.

The other two photos that she took were of horses. “I have always photographed horses because of how I have seen them for what they are; kind souls who are seriously unbelievable in stature, attitude, and overall ability,” said Hirst. One of those was chosen to go national.

“Every single photo I take I want to help define me as an individual and a person”

The Scholastic Art Awards give many people the voice and the platform to show what they believe in, and it helps many students grow and pursue a hobby in the arts.

“I consider myself very passionate about social issues.” Said Hirst. She conveys her passion and motivation behind the photos that were submitted.

There is a deadline to submit art every year, and Hirst started to submit during her freshman year. She has won at least one award every year since then. “There was only one other person in the whole state who won awards in photography, that won as many awards as I did,” said Hirst.

Hirst started this journey long before her freshman year of high school. “I got my first DSLR camera for my thirteenth birthday, however, for many birthdays before that, I got point and shoot cameras in which I filled their SD cards with crappy pictures that my childish mind thought were great. So I guess I could say I have been taking photos for about 10 years now,” she said.

The Scholastic Art and Writing awards are the longest running program in the nation, founded in 1923 and lasting 69 years. They continue to inspire young adults and giving them the recognition they deserve for their work.

“Whether it is sharing my photos on Instagram or to a museum for the awards, I have the same goal: be inspirational, impactful, or overall I want people to look at my photos and think, “wow.”’ said Hirst.

Needless to say, the DHS community wishes Aubrey Hirst the best of luck at her competition in New York.