Shin Miyamichi ’22 Earns National Recognition for Painting

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Shin Miyamichi ’22

Being a teenager isn’t easy. Shin Miyamichi ’22 of Yokohama, Japan, has taken that angst, turned it into a painting called “TEENAGE 10+8,” and has now received a Gold Medal and an American Visions Medal in the 2022 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition for his work.

“The piece is about emotions,” says Miyamichi. “As a teenager, I’m experiencing a lot of different emotions, especially like joy, sadness, and anger. Everyone experiences different emotions, and I wanted to reflect that in my piece. Also, I’ve been struggling with art because these days, I feel like there isn’t much freedom in what I draw or paint. So, for this piece, I just wanted to be myself and try to draw and paint whatever I wanted to. It is mostly about freedom and reflecting myself as a teenager.”

Miyamichi is one of 14 Mercersburg students who earned recognition at the 2022 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition, and one of six who advanced to compete at the national level.

“In ‘Teenage 10+8,’ Shin’s earnest rigor of production and dedication to depict his pressurized world as he navigates these chapters of his life is a strength of visual voice,” says Syd Caretti P ’24, arts faculty member and director of galleries at Mercersburg. “While rendered in bold, clean and crisp contrast, there is an emotional frenzy woven in and taking over. It’s a dynamic piece. I’m super pleased he is being recognized and validated at this level for the creative maker he is and will continue to be.”

Miyamichi says that the act of creating the piece had a great effect on him. “I’m a really negative person, and some people can tell just by looking at that painting because it is about anxiety, future expectations, and that kind of stuff,” he says. “But that painting made me change my way of thinking as I was working on it. I talked to my friends a lot, my teachers, my parents, other families, my relatives, and my grandparents as I was working on both that painting and my portfolio for college applications, and their words changed my way of thinking a lot. This year was really meaningful to me, and it definitely helped me out as an artist and as a person.”

“TEENAGE 10+8”

Since “TEENAGE 10+8” has had such a profound effect on him, Miyamichi hopes it will have a similar effect on others. “The reason I said I talked to a lot of people is because I just couldn’t embrace those emotions by myself,” he says. “I just needed someone who I could talk to about everything that was going on, so I just want everyone–especially teenagers–to know, ‘Don’t be stressed out, and find someone to talk to. Your teenage years could be the worst time of life because of those negative emotions, but at the same time, it is the best part of your life.’ I just want them to embrace those emotions, find people to talk to, and try to overcome whatever they have been going through.”

Miyamichi created his painting over a period of two months. In addition to art, he enjoys playing basketball and baseball for fun. He helps in the school library in Lenfest Hall and has participated as a member of the Mercersburg cross country and track & field teams. He is completing his second year as a prefect in Main Hall.

Next year, Miyamichi will attend University of the Arts London. “I just want to be an artist, of course, but I’m not really sure what I want to do in the future,” he says. “I can’t really think of anything specific. I just want to do communication art, which involves graphic design and illustration.”

Now in its 99th year, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. More than 100,000 teens from across the United States and Canada entered more than 260,000 works of art and writing to the 2022 Scholastic Awards. As a national award recipient, Miyamichi is now a candidate for exhibition, publication, and scholarship opportunities, and has been invited to attend a national ceremony Thursday, June 9, at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 

For more information on this story, please contact Lee Owen (owenl@mercersburg.edu) in Mercersburg’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.


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