Mercersburg Students Receive Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 

Saturday, February 8, 2020
Clara Getty ’21 received an American Visions Award for her sculpture, "Banana Pietà”

A total of 24 Mercersburg Academy students have been honored in the 2020 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. 

“I’m sure I speak for the entire Mercersburg community when I say how proud we are of the artistic and literary accomplishments of these 24 students,” said Michele Poacelli, English faculty. “They are talented, indeed. But achieving at this level demands more than raw talent; it requires a dedication to the artististic process. These students drafted, sought feedback on their work, revised, tweaked, and tinkered until they got it just right. I admire their commitment to craft as much as I admire their final products.”

Work by Eliza DuBose ’20, Berklee Cohen ’20, Clara Getty ’21, Jay Howley ’21, Awura Aba Kufuor ’21, Lian Wang ’21, and Jesse Zhang ’20 earned Gold Key awards and will advance to compete for awards at the national level.

Getty is an American Visions Award Nominee for her sculpture, “Banana Pietà”; Cohen received three Gold Key awards for his paintings, “Passenger,” “Our Positions,” and “House Guest”; DuBose received two awards for her personal essay and memoir entries, “Ruined Books” and “To Be Forgotten”;  Howley was honored for his critical essay, “Don't Go Big, Go Home”; Kufuor’s critical essay, “Shaving My Legs? Meh ... I Think I’ll Pass” was selected; Wang’s two poetry entries, “On the Heat of My Tongue” and “an elegy for the falling sky” were chosen; and Zhang’s Gold Key was for his art portfolio entry, “Prayers.”

Silver Key awards were given to the following: Cohen earned an award for his painting “Up or Down?”; Mel Cort ’23 received two poetry awards for her poems, “Last Day of Bravery” and “Miss Noises”; Dylan Gantt ’21 earned an award for his critical essay, “How to Progress on the LGBTQ+…”; Samuel Nobile ’21 was recognized for his critical essay, “Books: Artifacts of Human Creativity”; Chelsea Seaby Bruno ’21 was selected for her critical essay “Cowtastrophy: Why Eating Bugs Will…”; and Naeemah Winter ’20 was honored for her sculpture, “Movement.”

Rounding out the list of award recipients, the following students received Honorable Mention awards: Ryan Bland ’21, for his critical essay “When Education Kills”; Lucy Bowman ’21, two awards for photography: “Porcelain Daydream” and “Chantler 1”; Cort, for her poetry “An Overdue Orientation Thank You”; Stanley Fang ’21, for film and animation, “Elements”; Addie Geitner ’21, for her critical essay, “What If the Weather was Always Perfect?”; Howley for his mixed media, “Ludwig”; Nai'a Jurgensen ’21, for her drawing and illustration, “Biking”; Blanca Lopez Martinez ’21, for her critical essay “Choice is Power”; Saskia Mentor ’21, for her critical essay, “The Importance of Mental Health…”; Ebube Onwusika ’21, for her critical essay, “For Halloween, I am Going to be a…”; Brandon Ryu ’21, for his mixed media, “Submerged earth”; Zareena Sorho ’23, for her photography, “Self Portrait”; Selina Xue ’20, who received four awards: three for paintings (“Shanghai City line,” “Traffic,” and “Sunset”) and one for her senior portfolio; and Farah Yahaya ’21, for her poetry, “While You Were Swimming.” 

Berklee Cohen ’20, "Passenger" 

A selection of winning artwork will be on display at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg from March 7 to April 26. Due to space and the large number of winners, only a small portion of the artwork will be on display.

Students receiving Gold Key or Silver Key awards will be invited to attend a regional awards ceremony recognizing their work.

Last year, 21 pieces by 14 Mercersburg students were chosen for recognition in the 2019 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.