Unlocking Creativity: Senior art student earns two national honors

By: Sommer Danielsen

Senior Landry Boerhave has been moved by art for as long as she can remember. Upon entering painting class in her sophomore year, she discovered that she is not solely moved, but had a passionate attachment and undeniable talent. Twelve art class credits later, Boerhave is being recognized for her outstanding work.

Her scratchboard piece, “Wanderer’s Return,” was awarded with top honors by Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, receiving a Gold Key award. Her portfolio was also recognized, receiving a Silver Key award.

Recipients of the Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention or American Visions & Voices Nomination Awards are selected annually from approximately 300,000 submissions. All recipients will be recognized in an awards ceremony at the Berlin-Blank Center in Iowa City on Saturday, March 26.

“Wanderer’s Return” depicts a turning point in Boerhave’s life. “It was after I had become a Christian, and I was at the point where I was realizing that it’s not always easy. So it’s just about always knowing I can return to God when I feel like I wander from him.” The portfolio Boerhave submitted is compiled of 10 pieces, all drawings and paintings from the last two years.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 9.00.30 AMBoerhave has also taken photography and graphic design classes and found that their principles and elements overlap with drawing and painting. Spending two periods each day in the art room, Boerhave’s dedication to art, in all forms, is undeniable. Since sophomore year, she has grown not just in her technique, but in her ideology.

“It used to just be the aesthetic part of it, now it’s more the statement it makes, the concepts behind each art piece that enlighten your way of thinking about life,” Boerhave said. “This year especially it [art] has been a huge part of my life in just realizing the power creativity has — being able to explain ideas and being able to record life.”

Regarding Boerhave, painting teacher Emily Luensmann speaks with genuine admiration. “She works tirelessly at her craft to get better at it, and it’s definitely showed in her time as she’s been here,” Luensmann said.

Boerhave plans to continue pursuing art as she goes to the University of Iowa next year, majoring in studio art and working towards a BFA in animation. This will open job opportunities for creating short films, websites, movies and many other things.

As Boerhave moves from the art room of Cedar Falls High School to a college studio, she hopes to leave the door ajar so that others might find the joy she did. She also shares a bit of insight she gained from her countless hours of studying and practice. “If you’re into art, just know it’s not always so technical. Even though that is good for getting a base in art, I think creativity is really important, which I didn’t realize until this year,” Boerhave said.

All students grades 7-12 are eligible to submit pieces to next year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, starting in the winter, although the official deadline for submissions has not been set. These submissions may include architecture, poetry, video game design, painting and more. Submissions are first shown to a panel of more than 100 local judges, who make decisions at the regional level. The pieces selected by regional judges then go on a panel of national judges who select pieces to be recognized.

All submissions are judged on three criteria: originality, skill and presence of personal vision.

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