The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Niles West Art Department Earns Second Most Scholarships in the State

Some+of+the+art+students+celebrating+coming+second+in+state+for+the+amount+of+scholarship+money+raised.+Photo+taken+from+the+Niles+West+weekly+news+letter.
Some of the art students celebrating coming second in state for the amount of scholarship money raised. Photo taken from the Niles West weekly news letter.

Last year, the Niles West Art Department participated in the Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE), placing first in Illinois. Art students at West received over 5.7 million dollars worth of scholarships. This year, the art department participated again, raising 2.5 million dollars and placing second in the state.

A lot of students have been preparing for this day since they started high school. Some students have been in art classes for only two years but have still been dedicated to their work. All of the art students have been preparing by creating a portfolio. Fine & Applied Arts teacher Deanna Sortino explains what the process is for the students to receive these scholarships.

“A way the students have been able to show off their work is that we had Mini Portfolio Day, which was in October. Around 40 college representatives come to the school, and they start meeting with students and viewing their portfolios. Then, through IHSAE, students submit their portfolios online. All of the college representatives look at their pieces, and they start to offer college scholarships,” Sortino said.

Students participated by showing off the pieces they had been working on. Their art ranged from drawing and painting to photography and more. Senior Delaney Gin was one of the top students at West to receive the most money from scholarships.

“I was really surprised when I received the scholarships because I never started off in these classes to get a lot of scholarship money. I am super thankful that I was able to receive this money. I plan on majoring in graphic design so this money will help me get the supplies I need such as a camera and MacBook,” Gin said.

One of Delaney Gin’s art pieces that won a Scholastic Gold Award.

Senior Brandon Lee made multiple pieces for his portfolio but is most proud of his self-portrait piece.

“One of our assignments this year was to make self-portrait pieces. For mine, I decided to make it in a beautiful setting with cherry blossoms all around. You can see this man leaning against a tree, which is portraying me. This is probably one of my best pieces, and I am very happy with how it turned out,” Lee said.

Brandon Lee’s self-portrait piece.

For the seniors who want to pursue art, these scholarships will not only help them for college but for everyone; they give them the recognition they deserve. Art students have been working on these specific pieces for several weeks. For some months. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors continue to work on their art skills, improving every day.

“For the future, I hope we continue to bring college representatives to the school and to let them know that West is a dynamic force. Also, to let them know that our students are incredibly creative, hard-working, and amazing problem solvers. I hope our students continue to work hard and pursue their dreams,” Sortino said.

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