QA's student artist wins 'I Voted' sticker competition

Queen Anne’s County High School senior Cara Brown’s design has been named the high school winner in the “I Voted” Sticker Student Art Competition.

CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County High School senior Cara Brown is the winner of the state’s “I Voted” Sticker Student Art Competition in the high school category.

Winners were announced live on the Maryland State Department of Education’s Fine Arts Office Facebook page Monday, Dec. 16.

“I was ecstatic. I was so excited that I’d gotten that far, then when I learned I’d won, it was just amazing,” Cara said.

The Fine Arts Office partnered with the Maryland State Board of Elections on the contest to design a new voting sticker for 2020. They invited student artists in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 to be inspired by Maryland, voting, or elections in Maryland. Cara’s entry was one of more than 650 pieces of artwork submitted by students from all across the state.

Cara’s design shows a Bay scene, complete with the Bay Bridge and a blue heron along the shoreline, and it features the state and U.S. flags.

“My concept came from normal stuff as a Marylander that I see everyday,” Cara said.

Just as the Bay Bridge joins the two sides of Maryland, Cara said she also took the bridge to represent “how we vote in Maryland influences what is happening in the rest of the nation.”

The heron represents nature and wildlife conservation, she said.

Working in two-dimensional art, Cara said she used a black pen and colored markers to create her sticker.

A panel of guest artists — David Bottini of Washington County, Jen Wagner Mosaics of Talbot County and James Williams of Baltimore City — judged the artwork for creativity, technique, craftsmanship and concept.

Cara’s work was selected in November as one of the finalists in the high school division.

“I mainly use clay and do 3-D art. That I had gotten that far in 2-D is astounding for me,” she said.

Public voting ran from Nov. 5 to Nov. 15; more than 28,000 votes were cast. The artwork with the most votes in each school division (elementary, middle, and high) was declared the winner. Three student artists will have their original artwork printed on voting stickers and distributed at voting locations all across the state beginning in 2020.

The winning designs will also be exhibited on a year-long statewide tour beginning at the Maryland House of Delegates.

The winning designers will each receive a $100 gift card for new arts supplies and a governor’s citation. Their art teacher will receive $500 for art supplies or equipment for their school.

Cara’s art teacher is Stephanie Zeiler, who said Cara never stops challenging herself in both concept and technique.

Cara received a first place award for her sculpture in the Academy Art Museum’s Mid-Shore Student Art Exhibition last spring. She also was recognized as a QACPS Visual and Performing Arts Teen of the Week last fall not only for her outstanding artistry but for her exceptional academic achievements and community service.

Visual and Performing Arts Supervisor Michael Bell congratulated both Cara and Zeiler.

Cara and fellow senior Jenna Hauser will be featured in the 2020 National Art Honor Society Juried Exhibition starting in January, Zeiler announced Dec. 20. Of 1,065 submissions from around the country, only 62 works were chosen for exhibition at the National Art Education Association Studio and Gallery in Arlington, Va., and an additional 73 works were selected for inclusion in the NAEA Virtual Gallery.

“This is a FIRST ever for QACPS and I am beyond proud of these young ladies. If you see either of these amazing young ladies, please congratulate them. This is pretty special,” Zeiler wrote in an email. The exhibit will run Jan. 27 to April 10.

Cara’s piece is a human-figure sculpture titled “Misguiding Hands.” Jenna’s is a mixed-media drawing.

Jenna took first place in First Lady of Maryland Yumi Hogan’s statewide exhibition at the prestigious House of Delegates gallery last spring. The exhibit is for “the best of the best” artists from all 23 counties in Maryland and Baltimore City, K-12. Jenna won the only award presented for high school work in the entire State of Maryland with her self-portrait graphite drawing.

Zeiler said, “Jenna inspires me and she is an incredible ambassador of the arts for our county.”

“Congratulations to our teachers and students! I’m so pleased to celebrate our talented teachers and students. Thanks to Mr. Bell, also, for his leadership and for shining a well-deserved spotlight on our Fine Arts program,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Andrea Kane wrote in an email.

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