This is What “Soulful” Means

Harding Academy junior Anna Rogers won a Silver Key for photography in this year’s Mid-South Scholastic Exhibition.  The awards ceremony is Saturday, February 1st, starting at 11 am.

soulful

Anna Rogers, Soulful, Harding Academy, Silver Key Award, Photography

Art has always been a hobby of mine. In elementary school if I wasn’t getting in trouble for talking during class, I would get in trouble for doodling. I received my first digital camera when I was in the fifth grade, and I filled my two-gigabyte memory card almost instantly. As the years went on, high school gave me the opportunity to take more advanced and in depth art classes than the once-weekly art class elementary offered, and I was elated. Unfortunately, I skipped my 2D art credit during my sophomore year so that I could take a journalism class, but when I returned this year as a junior, it was almost as though I had picked up my paint brush right where I left off.

Of course, as the years have progressed, my life has as well, and I have been introduced to more passionate emotions: through thrilling, sorrowful, frustrating, exciting, and terrifying feelings, art provided a medium through which I could grasp my emotions, and that is how I have always seen each piece I created. Having said that, words cannot convey the excitement that rushes through an artist’s body when he or she uses a new set of paintbrushes or colored pencils because he simply can’t wait to create a piece of himself on the paper. My sophomore year, after a summer of excruciating yard work and babysitting, I purchased my first DLSR camera. Again, words can not express my exuberance as I explored this new medium, learning the technical terms for different aspects of a picture, and through images and footage I captured, I learned a new mode of self-expression.

I believe when artists pursue awards or accolades for their work rather than self-expression, their piece lacks a certain motivation and emotion, which makes the sole pursuit of an award counterproductive. That’s not to say that works created “just because” are bad or undeserving, but most pieces that Scholastics has chosen that I see exhibited in the gallery are thoughtful and deep, and most have a back story that inspired the piece. When my art teacher told me that I won a silver key for one of my pictures, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride, because when artist pours herself into her work and someone else recognizes it, they recognize a part of the artist. Even if it’s only a silver key, I am absolutely honored: honored to have won the award and to have my piece displayed with other amazing pieces created by fellow students. Of course, no masterpiece can be confined to or defined by a ribbon or award, but the recognition from fellow artists is an honor nonetheless.

Anna Rogers
Junior, Harding Academy

 

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