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Fitch artists bring home the honors

February 19, 2020
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Over 715 high school and middle school artists took part in the Northeast Ohio Scholastic Art Awards at Youngstown State University in January. Out of that large number, Austintown had 21 students get honors, five of them earning gold and silver keys and going on to be judged at the National level.

"I looked at all the other school districts and we did fairly well," said Fitch art instructor Adam Leskanic.

He said any student in Mahoning and Trumbull County could enter the art event if they had exceptional work. In Austintown, three eighth graders from AMS were entered and the rest of the 21 were from Fitch.

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Top Fitch award winners in the YSU Northeast Ohio Scholastic Art Awards contest in January were Melanie Centeno Silva and Preston Wood (silver key winners, and Daisy Calabrette, Kara Cunningham and Jackie Huang (gold award winners).

From AMS, Sergio Marinelli earned a silver key for his work in sculptures. Two other artists from AMS, Amarra Anderson and Grace Weston received honorable mentions.

While most of the Fitch kids got honorable mentions, five stood out. Melanie Centeno Silva and Preston Wood received a silver key for their work. Ending up with gold keys were Daisy Calabrette, Kara Cunningham, and Jackie Haung.

In fact, Cunningham ended up with five silver keys in individual, a silver key in portfolio, and a gold key for portfolio. She said art has long been her passion.

"Ever since I picked up a pencil, I have loved art," she said. "I try to fill a paper every day with my work."

She was selected to complete one of the school's murals on the second floor. Her mural contains a lot of characters that she came up with.

With such a passion for art, Cunningham wasn't surprised when she was accepted by the Cleveland Institute of Art. She hasn't committed to that school yet.

"I am taking a time out right now," she said. "I haven't made up my mind yet."

Also taking big honors for Fitch was Jackie Huang, who earned two silver keys and the gold American Vision Award. Haung plans on attending Kent State for fashion design.

Fitch's three gold key winners, Calabrette, Cunningham, and Huang will have their works sent to New York this summer for the National Scholastic Art Show where they will compete against the best from across the nation. Huang's work will be in the special American Visions category.



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