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Creative Arts Blog

Hu ‘19 Wins Two National Awards

Emanne Khan '19
Even if you’ve never met her, you’ve probably seen her artwork. Throughout her four years at Derryfield, the creations of Ada Hu ‘19 have decorated many a wall around campus, from her elaborate sculptures on display in the Lyceum Gallery to her intricate underwater scene hung near the library. Fittingly, she is headed off to the Rhode Island School of Design next fall, and she is picking up a few more accolades along the way.

Back in February, Ada was honored numerous times by the Scholastic Art Awards, which “have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth” since 1923, as shared by Creative Arts Department Co-Chair Mrs. Barsi. After submitting their work in the fall, young artists from across the nation wait several months while their pieces are evaluated by regional jurors. The top works from each region are then judged by a panel of accomplished creatives from across the country. After receiving recognition for 13 of her pieces in the regional round, Ada recently learned that two of her creations received national medal standing, which is reserved for the top works in the nation.

The first of Ada’s pieces to be honored is titled Lost. Consisting of three sets of photographs that have been cut and layered multiple times, Silver Medal-winning Lost explores the uncertainty of youth. “In this series of photos, I took pictures of teenagers of my age and manipulated the printed version by layering to create a sense of error. In this piece, I wish to show the sense of loss of teenagers when they are on their way of seeking goals. By creating the layering effects, I am able to show a slight sense of twist,” Ada shared. The distorted images of Jael Fleurant ‘19 and Max Karpawich ‘19 are depicted alongside Ada herself, capturing the diversity of the teenage experience.

A testament to her skill in various mediums, Ada’s other piece is a Gold Medal-winning fabric design called Red Chinese Dragon that is inspired by her independent study with Mrs. Barsi. “Over the past few years, Ada's work has explored culture as her theme, more specifically, the elements of her home and culture in China,” Mrs. Barsi said. “Having a strong and consistent theme is helpful in the development of a visual arts portfolio.” For the striking design, Ada emphasized its ties to her home, adding that she “used the element of symbols which people used to put on the doors for guarding the family. Red and gold are the main color of this piece of fabric. In Chinese tradition, these two colors often represent luck and prosperity.”

As for what will become of Ada’s award-winning work, Mrs. Barsi shared that it will gain even greater exposure. “Ada has the opportunity to attend the National Awards celebration at Carnegie Hall in NYC this June,” she said. “Her gold-winning work was shipped to NYC and will be on display for the duration of the national awards celebrations.”

Ada’s creativity has certainly made Derryfield a brighter place to be and we wish her the best of luck in her artistic endeavors!
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