The Keys to Creative Success

East Henderson High student wins prestigious art award

Growth in Spring – Brianna LaRue

In support of  young artistic talent throughout the region, Asheville Art Museum, for the last 40 years, has joined the Asheville Area Section of the American Institute of Architects annually to host the National Scholastic Art Awards. Students from Western North Carolina are divided into two groups based on their grade (Group I is 7-8 and Group II is 9-12).

Brianna LaRue, a senior at East Henderson High School, won the Gold Key Award in her grade division over all media with a work she created for her AP Studio Art portfolio. “My drawing, ‘Growth in Spring,’ was inspired by Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings of flowers,” says LaRue. “I love the way color is used in their paintings.” LaRue also won two Silver Key awards for her other pieces submitted to the competition. “I work really hard on each piece that I make, and it was nice to feel like my hard work paid off,” LaRue adds.

Growing up, she watched the manga show “Naruto” each week with her dad and older brother. She began sketching anime characters from the series, sparking her interest in art. “Growth in Spring” is rendered in graphite and colored pencil and contains elements of storytelling and fantasy. “After creating a portfolio that explored some of the negative aspects of mental health last year,” reveals the artist, “I wanted to create something more positive and whimsical. It’s the end of an emotional journey.” 

Her piece, a self portrait of sorts, “uses surrealism to visualize what inner peace or wellness looks like. Even when the world around us seems bleak, we all have dreams and fantasies that keep us happy and motivated,” says LaRue.

All regional award recipients’ works will be on view in the Multipurpose Space and Blossman Companies Education Gallery within the Asheville Art Museum through March 9 (2 South Pack Square, Asheville). National Gold Medalists will also be announced in March. For more information on the National Scholastic Art Awards program, visit ashevilleart.org. 828-253-3227.

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