The creative process often referred to as thinking outside the box led Henrico County teen Hallie Wilson to think about what happens inside a box — specifically, a television, computer, microwave and other machines — and that creativity has earned her one of the highest national honors for youth art.
Wilson, a 17-year-old senior at Henrico High School’s Center for the Arts, is one of 16 high school students nationwide to earn a 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing gold medal — the highest award offered by the nearly century-old program. Her portfolio, called “Technology People,” features eight wood and clay sculptures depicting the figurative goings-on inside such machines as computers, printers, televisions and more.
The award comes with a $10,000 scholarship.
Wilson’s work was considered from more than 300,000 entries submitted by students in grades 7-12 for works of poetry,
photography, sculpture, humor, editorial cartoons and video game design. The top 16 winners are broken into two categories, with eight recognized for art and the other eight for writing. Their works are judged on originality, technical skill and emergence of their personal vision and voice.
The Scholastic awards, presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, includes a trip to New York City this summer, where Wilson will be honored during a ceremony at Carnegie Hall. Her work will also be part of the Art.Write.Now 2019 National Exhibition from May 31 to June 8 at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York, as well as the Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery.
Wilson talked about her experience last month as she showed off her work during class.
Each sculpture within “Technology People” depicts a machine that’s slowly being phased out of daily life as technology advances all around us, she explained. There’s a sewing machine, television, record player, microwave, printer, lamp, blender and computer.
In the microwave, for example, a little clay figure roasts food over a campfire with a pile of chopped wood at the ready nearby. Inside the sewing machine is a little figure putting together pieces of fabric.