Fox Chapel senior vies for national nod after winning big in Scholastic Art contest
Fox Chapel Area senior Seo Yeon “Christina” Wang collected eight Gold Keys in the 2019 regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a feat that sends her work on to national review.
Seven individual pieces of Wang’s and a portfolio — one of only four to be recognized this year — earned top honors.
Wang also captured four Silver Keys and seven honorable mentions.
“I put all my energy into this,” she said.
Art teacher Joan Marangoni said Wang crafted a body of work that perfectly depicts her journey and experiences.
“They are personal, engaging, thought-provoking works that outline the concerns and awareness of an amazingly talented teen,” Marangoni said. “Christina is driven, creative and thirsty for knowledge in all areas of art. At such a young age, she thinks and works like a professional artist.”
Wang said she lived in the United States briefly in elementary school before moving back to Korea. When she returned as a ninth-grader, her father, Joon Ho Wang, gave her the American name Christina.
She was exposed to art at an early age by her mother, Myung Ju Shin, an art major and designer.
“For me, art is what I want to show people, what I want to be,” Wang said. “I want to change people a little, give a new perspective in their daily lives.”
This year, students across the region submitted 1,611 works and 24 portfolios to the Scholastic competition. Thirteen percent were honored with Gold Keys, 9 percent received Silver and 7 percent received honorable mentions.
Two of Wang’s pieces, “Ecological Handprint” and “Fruit Bowl,” won American Vision Awards, of which only five were doled out.
The teen isn’t working to change minds but to open them, she said.
“I want my art to have a message.”
“Fruit Bowl,” built from natural materials, symbolizes the perfect body type sometimes pushed by pop culture, Wang said.
She recorded herself pouring chocolate sauce over the piece to spoil it, speaking out against the preoccupation with appearances and looks.
Her other Vision Award winner, “Ecological Handprint,” is a serene black swan with a white arched neck and head made from disposable plastic gloves.
Wang has taken several art courses outside the district, including a summer program at Carnegie Mellon University. She enjoys exploring different media, be it acrylic, collage, organic materials or performance art. Trash and recyclables give her work texture as they make a statement, she said.
“I never perfectly like my art. I always see some ways to improve,” Wang said.
She isn’t certain what career path she’ll follow, but she does plan to study art. She wants to take science and liberal arts courses also to be exposed to ideas and experiences, she said.
Scholastic awards are judged on technical skill, originality and personal vision and voice.
National winners receive scholarships and a chance to exhibit their work in New York City.
For more, visit artandwriting.org.