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EGR, Byron Center Students Win National Art Awards

A Byron Center middle and East Grand Rapids High School student were recently awarded national silver medals in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards contest, placing them among the top 1 percent of about 230,000 pieces of work submitted to the program. The students qualified for the national award by winning a top Gold Key Award at the regional Scholastic Awards event recently hosted by Kendall College of Art and Design.Mackenzie Reid’s piece, titled “Copperhead” was her first attempt at sculpture

Meet Mackenzie Reed

A face peeks out of the twisty wire sculpture Byron Center West Middle School eighth-grade student Mackenzie Reid created, which she titled “Copperhead”.

While it was the young artist’s first serious attempt at creating sculpture, the piece won the national medal.

“I’ve always been more into drawing and didn’t know much about sculpture,” Mackenzie  said. “I really like sculpture now that I got to try it.”

Mackenzie is a student in art teacher Janine Campbell’s class and is in the after-school art class.

The winners of the National Awards are among the top 1 percent of all work submitted to the program, Campbell said.

Mackenzie, the daughter of Kelly and Randy Warren, also runs track and is on the Student Council.

She said she’s learned a lot from Campbell.

“She’s been very inspiring. She has so many different ideas and things that are always fun to try on your own,” she said.

Meet Alicia Dills

East Grand Rapids High School art teacher Terry Szpeig describes senior Alicia Dills as having the precision of a surgeon.

“As a student, she is incredibly disciplined with acute attention to detail,” said Szpeig, who currently teaches Dills in advanced art.

Alicia’s untitled cardboard sculpture consists of a carved pattern on five parallel panels.

East Grand Rapids High School senior Alicia Dills works in Advanced Art classSzpeig said Alicia has a knack for using a variety of tools including small blades.

“I found that I like working with cardboard,” she said. “Sculpture is the kind of thing I like working with.”

The daughter of Carol and Jeff Dills also won an honorable mention last year at  2013 Congressional Art Competition for Michigan’s Third District.

The students are invited to the National Award Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 6th, 2014. Mackenzie is is raising money to attend with her parents, and Alicia does not plan to attend.

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Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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