Young artists honored in CNY Scholastic Art Awards | Arts and Entertainment

Local students received honors for their award-winning entries in the 2022 CNY Scholastic Art Awards, sponsored by M&T Bank and hosted by Onondaga Community College.

More than 4,600 pieces were entered by Central New York junior and senior high students, throughout 14 counties for online judging, double the amount received during the pandemic-related challenges of last year. Forty art professionals, in early January, evaluated and selected 1,103 individual pieces and 39 six-piece portfolios to be awarded Gold Key (first place), Silver Key and Honorable Mention in 17 categories. Gold Key works go on to national competition in the spring and, on the local level, many received cash prizes and special recognition.

Hannah Cooley, Carthage High School, and Madison Houppert, Lowville High School, received special honors.

Hannah received the Clayscapes Pottery Award for best work in ceramics and glass, creative design, for the second year in a row.

“I was shocked to win two years in a row,” the young artist said.

This year’s winning sculpture, titled “Curiosity,” is a hairless cat’s head mounted on a vintage dictionary with the appearance of the cat eating the book.

Hannah was inspired by the phrase “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.”

“I had been sculpting cat heads and needed something to mount it on and thought knowledge would give satisfaction,” she explained. “I was surprised that I won since the sculpture is a bit disturbing in person — it looks like I did taxidermy.”

Hannah, the daughter of Darwin and Lisa Cooley of Carthage, has been interested in art since elementary school.

“It makes me feel different than writing or other forms of expressing myself,” she said. “Art is very forgiving and I find it very soothing.”

Besides sculpting, Hannah enjoys photography, mixed media, collage, painting and drawing with colored pencils.

The senior plans to attend Jefferson Community College, Watertown, next year, to enlarge her portfolio in hopes of qualifying for placement at Rochester Institute of Technology in the medical and scientific illustrations program.

“In the program you major in art and minor in science and I am good at both,” she said, noting that the degree could lead to creating posters to convey good health such as you would see in a doctor’s office.

Art gives one a lot of freedom to express yourself, according to Hannah.

“It teaches you it’s OK to make mistakes and to take time to see things differently — to be more thorough in everything,” she said. “I’ve learned to savor things more.”

Hannah also plays piano and has been a member of the school’s swimming and track and field teams. She is currently a ski patrol candidate at Snow Ridge in Turin.

Madison, the daughter of Roberta and Scott Houppert of Lowville, received the John D. Barrow Art Gallery Award for best portrait in the drawing or painting categories.

Her charcoal self portrait was a class assignment for which she used photos taken by a friend to capture her own image.

The award winning artist said she has been involved in art for her entire life.

“Ever since I could pick up a crayon, my mom has taught me about art,” Madison said, adding that her mother is an elementary art teacher at Lowville Academy and Central School. “I was very excited to get the award since this is my senior year.”

The senior has previously been awarded several Gold and Silver keys in many mediums including painting, pencil drawings and sculpture through the CNY Scholastic Art Awards and won a Best of Show for her photography. In addition, she was awarded a Judge’s Choice award at the Tri-County Art Show.

Her favorite artistic medium is graphite.

Art has provided Madison with life lessons.

“You don’t always get a masterpiece, but art teaches you along the way,” she said. “It teaches patience and perseverance to get to the point where you want to be.”

In the fall, Madison plans to attend Mohawk Community College, Utica, in the fine arts program. Although she has not yet decided, she is interested in pursuing a career in medical illustration. In that field, she said, she could illustrate medical journals or diagram surgeries in a hospital.

“I’m excited to keep learning, I’m not where I want to be yet,” she said.

Besides being a member of the Art Club at school, Madison has been a member of the soccer team throughout middle and high school.

An exhibit of the 1,300 winning works is free and open to the public at Whitney Applied Technology Center on Onondaga Community College campus, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, through March 4. The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. To schedule a group visit, go to

The Everson Museum of Art, in Syracuse, will also display select works from March 12 to April 10. Awards have been given, but to publicly celebrate the students, teachers and area supporters, a virtual awards ceremony is planned for mid-February. Ceremony information will be available on the CNY Scholastic Art updates page,

In addition to the consecutive 23 years of Onondaga Community College as host and 13 years of M&T Bank’s sponsorship, the list of area businesses and organizations providing resources to further encourage the young artists has grown. These supporters include Sage Scholars Educational Foundation, Purcell Construction Corp., The Art Store, Light Work, Syracuse Cultural Workers, S.I. Newhouse School/Visual Communications Department, John D. Barrow Art Gallery, Tracy L. Haylor Memorial Fund, Rudy Hellmann Photography, Clayscapes, Independent Potters’ Association of CNY, The Print Hub Syracuse and OCC Foundation.

The Scholastic Art Awards program, founded by Scholastic Inc. in 1923, is the largest annual student art competition in America. The CNY Art Council — a volunteer group of art teachers — has coordinated this area’s program for more than 70 years. Last year the CNY Region produced 18 national award winners.

Gold Key: Kambylle Allen, ceramics and glass; Grace Peters, drawing and illustration.

Silver Key: Trinity Sampson, photography.

Honorable Mention: Kaylie Chiodi.

Gold Key: Hannah Cooley, sculpture.

Silver Key: Nichelle Collier, drawing and illustration; Elizabeth Glathar, drawing and illustration; Emma Hermanowski, drawing and illustration and painting; Maria Macalister drawing and illustration; Summer Schneider, drawing and illustration.

Honorable Mention: Bethany Dusharm, Ava Moore, Paige Soules, Stephanie Spears (2).

Honorable Mention: Tyler Barkley, Maximilian Bilotta, Ashlan Eplee, Jasmine Powell.

Portfolio Honorable Mention: Charli Carroll.

Gold Key: Charli Carroll, ceramics and glass.

Silver Key: Alexia Adair, sculpture; Charli Carroll, ceramics and glass; Emily Rose, photography.

Honorable Mention: Charli Carroll, Gracie Scholler.

Silver Key: Sister Mary, photography.

Honorable Mention: Sean Quail.

Silver Key: Isabel Miller, drawing and illustration; Evelyn Winters, drawing and illustration

Portfolio Silver Key: Eliana Bonbrest.

Portfolio Honorable Mention: Madison Houppert, Colden Pike.

Gold Key: Eliana Bonbrest, mixed media; Madison Houppert, drawing and illustration; (2); Colden Pike, drawing and illustration and photography.

Silver Key: Ramsey Metzler, drawing and illustration; Colden Pike, photography (4).

Honorable Mention: Madison Houppert, Michael Monks, Colden Pike (3), Kiley Zicari.

Silver Key: Alexa Seeber, drawing and illustration.

Honorable Mention: Reese Dow, Grace Fredericks, Emma Rupert.

Silver Key: Emma Armet, painting; Anthony Blakeley, digital art; Leah Dykas, ceramics and glass; Zach Kinney, photography; Andrew Mullen, photography; Morgan Wilson, mixed media.

Honorable Mention: Emma Delong, Evelyn Ellis, Jetta Miller (2), Celeste Mulcahey, Andrew Mullen, Katrina Wallace.

Gold Key: Collin Haggett, photography; Lucas Richards, photography.

Silver Key: Lydia Austin, photography; Finnegan Dean, photography; Chiara Frascatore, photography (2); Ella Greer, photography; Collin Haggett, photography; Arianna Rider, photography; Andrew Wellings, photography.

Honorable Mention: Lydia Austin, Juan Pablo Corona Gomez, Finnegan Dean, Lillian Dow, Ella Greer, Collin Haggett (3), Emma Hubbard, Viola Partridge, Peyton Sheehan.

Honorable Mention: Steven Crumb II, Kida Maki, Shyanna Phillips.

Portfolio Silver Key: Sophia Renzi.

Gold Key: Camryn Pastor, drawing and illustration; Sophia Renzi, photography.

Honorable Mention: Joey Baker, Kit Desormeau.

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