Killingly High School student wins Scholastic Art Award

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Danielson - posted Mon., Apr. 11, 2011
Chelsea Taylor at work on the cover of the KHS literary journal, Westfield Corner. Photos by D. Coffey.
Chelsea Taylor at work on the cover of the KHS literary journal, Westfield Corner. Photos by D. Coffey.

Each year, two students from each high school in the state are awarded Scholastic Art Awards for outstanding work in the performing and visual arts. This year, senior Chelsea Taylor won the award for visual arts at Killingly High School.

Taylor said she has taken as many art classes as she could, studying drawing, sculpture, painting, electronic drawing and design.

She is currently at work on a pictorama box. The guidelines were simple: Tell a story with a moral using the inside of a box as the stage. Somewhere on the box she must write the moral. Other than that, she is free to choose the media for her story.

Taylor chose to create an “Ugly Duckling” pictorama. “I’ve always liked that story and its moral not to judge people by their looks,” she said. “So far I've used painting, sculpture, knick knacks from home, and foam board to build a house.”

She is also working on a mosaic of a snake wrapped around a tree. Broken pieces of red tile form part of the pattern of the snake, and she has smashed green tiles into pieces to use for foliage. “It's a different media,” she said, holding up the heavy wooden back of the mosaic. “I like exploring different media.”

Taylor credits her teacher, Jamie Carter, with encouraging her. “She tells me what I’m capable of. She tells me that I can do it. Any questions I have, I can go to her,” she said. “I can't look at my own artwork and tell what's wrong with it. I'm happy she can tell me her opinion so I can make it better.”

The hardest part, Taylor said, is coming up with ideas. Once she gets one, she puts her own spin on it. One was a photo montage she created based on the work of artist David Hockney. She emulated his style for the assignment, but put her own ideas into the project.

Taylor plans to go to Quinebaug Valley Community College for two years before transferring to Eastern Connecticut State University to complete a degree in graphic design.

And she has advice for students her own age. “As corny as it sounds,” she said, “don't give up on your dreams. I didn't think I was good enough. If you like something, don't give up on it.”

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