A teen artist who takes her cue from societal issues has become a national gold medalist in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. Academy of the Holy Angels sophomore Stella Ouyang was recognized for “Connecting Through Boundaries,” a video the artist says concerns the struggle against racism.
She was honored for her exceptional work in film and animation through a blind adjudication process.
This Nanuet, New York, resident received her gold medal, a certificate, and an invitation to the national celebration.
Ouyang reached the national competition by earning two Gold Keys, the highest honor available in the regional event. Gold Keys symbolically unlock the winner’s ability to compete at the national level.
Ouyang earned her keys for “Connecting Through Boundaries” and for her piece “Look to the Light.” She also received a Silver Key for “Time to Heal,” a creation prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This award-winning artist developed her unique style by observing the world around her, including societal problems and her attitude toward those issues.
“People are trying to connect with all races; however, because of racism and unequal treatment, we are having trouble achieving our wants,” Ouyang said. “I notice the details of the little things, and I try to capture the deep meaning of the events, then express my idea through my art.”
Ouyang captures distinct moments by using a variety of media, including oil and acrylic paints, scratch color paper, pastel pencils, color pencils, and videos.
During her freshman year, Ouyang, who is also an accomplished pianist, entered the Tri-M national honor society. Tri-M members are outstanding musicians who also demonstrate academic excellence, character, and leadership.
This spring, Ouyang was welcomed into Mu Alpha Theta, a national honor society for students who excel in mathematics. This student’s activities also include private art lessons.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Competition is the country’s oldest and most prestigious competition for teens. Publisher Maurice R. Robinson established the event in 1923 to encourage young people’s expression and independent thought. Notable honorees from prior years include Andy Warhol, Kay WalkingStick, Zac Posen, and Ezra Jack Keats.