Chaffiotte and Sequeira win national silver medals for their artwork

Tony Yacavone, Staff writer

The 2018 National Medalists of Scholastic Art and Writing Awards were recently announced. Judged against other pieces of work made by people across the country, two WA students took home silver medals for their artwork.

Senior Caroline Chaffiotte and Sophomore Audrey Sequeira both won awards, Chaffiotte for a picture of her cousins and Sequeira for her drawing of shoes.

Chaffiotte’s photo came from an art assignment where her photo had to fit the subject of intimacy. In this contest, Chaffiotte took home four Gold Key Awards, one Silver Key Award, and an honorable mention.

“It represents their personalities really well. It shows their relationship and I like how she has her arms wrapped around him, it shows that she is very protective,” Chaffiote said in regards to the meaning of the photo.

Chaffiotte was not spontaneously inspired to take the photo, but she planned to take a photo like this.

“I wanted to have a photo of my cousins, I figured at Thanksgiving with the family all together, they’re going to be dressed relatively well, and I knew it would be a really good time to shoot. I had them stand there, and I told them to pose and it just worked out,” Chaffiotte said.

Caroline Chaffiotte
Chaffiotte’s award-winning photo

Sequeira’s drawing came from an art project where she had to take a photo of Westford, and the award received was for a drawing she did of the photo.

“The art project asked us to take photos of Westford based on things that we found interesting, so I went around but I couldn’t find anything that had character to it. After that I didn’t really want to go outside again. It was just a Sunday morning and I had the idea to put shoes in front of my door and I took a photo that looked good, ” Sequeira said.

Sequeira also shared why she thinks she stood out in comparison to the other people who were considered for the award.

“Technique is important for a national level [medal] and also what your artwork is conveying, I feel like shoes in front of a door conveys a lot more than a landscape of Westford. It’s not just there because it’s pretty, it has meaning behind it. Also just hard work and dedication. The drawing took me probably over twenty hours,” she said.

Sequeira went on to explain how she has improved in order to create something like this.

“I feel like other the past year or two, being in high school and maturing, it comes with understanding and messages behind artwork. I feel like that’s something I’ve really improved [on] – being able to convey meaning,” she said.

Audrey Sequeira
Sequeira’s award-winning drawing

The art teacher of both students, Lisa Bolotte, shared how these students have improved in their respective art forms over time.

“I think she [Chaffiote] is more focused, and more clear about what ideas she wants to communicate with her photography,” she said. “Audrey just puts 110% into everything she does. She just continually pushes herself.”

Bolotte also shared what she thought made the two students’ artwork stand out.

“I think [while] having an original voice is very important, technical skill also comes into play. I think a lot of students can draw well, a lot of students can take pictures with adequate exposure and contrast, but it’s more about the concept and engaging the viewer with something that is unique. Something that has an original viewpoint which shows that person,” Bolotte said.

Bolotte is proud of what these students have accomplished in this competition.

“It’s really exciting, they work so hard and they have a passion for their art so to see them being rewarded for their efforts is lovely,” Bolotte said.