2012 D*S Scholarship Finalists: High School Voting!

After weeks of applications and thousands of entries, the 2012 D*S Scholarship is closed, and the finalists have been chosen! Tomorrow we’ll start voting for the college and graduate school contestants, but today I’m happy to share the top five finalists for our first-ever high school award. This year, I wanted to extend the competition to an even younger audience that’s just getting started with their art and design careers. These talented young people are exploring photography, drawing and painting with such passion, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. Since we’re doing a single prize for this new group, I narrowed our finalists to five, and now it’s up to you to choose your favorite. Thank you again to all of the high school students who took the time to enter — you all have such bright futures ahead of you, and I hope to see you again for the college and graduate awards! xo, grace

Thanks again to O’More College of Design, West Elm, BRIKA and Parsons for generously donating this year’s awards

VOTING CONTINUES AFTER THE JUMP!





Finalists are listed in alphabetical order

Jackson Brinkley
Jackson is interested in photography and currently attends Hopewell Academy in Cary, NC. You can see more of his work right here.

Who/What inspires your work: “I suppose growth and change inspire my work, I’m always looking for some odd spot i could climb to or a new place i could go to take a picture, and if i find that spot beautiful or interesting or odd, ill take a picture. Im also inspired by the fleeting qualities in all things, I like to capture things that may never be as they were again.”

Where do you hope to be in five years: “I hope to have travelled outside of the country and taken pictures while perhaps helping others. I hope to still be using analog as a way of creating my work. I hope to be able to intern at National Geographic. I hope to be able to share my work with others and be well received. I hope to give back to that which has given me life, the earth.”

Why do you think you should win this year’s scholarship: “I should win this years scholarship so that I can help keep analog photography alive for future generations to enjoy. I would use it to pay for college, help out the photography department.”

Pia Graham
Pia is studying visual arts at Etobicoke School of the Arts in Toronto, Canada. You can see more of her work here.

Who/What inspires your work: “There is very little conceptual meaning behind my art but what I value most is the power I think I portray through my work. Expressing strength through what I create is important to me because it is something I feel like I cannot express otherwise. I’m inspired by the impact imagery can have on the world around us. I’m greatly inspired by artists like Ai Weiwei because they have managed to change the world through their art and they did not just do this to make their voice heard but to give the powerless a voice. To inspire and provoke thought through my art like that would be the ultimate achievement.”

Where do you hope to be in five years: “I hope to be finishing school and/or doing an internship in the field of design or visual communications. Maybe even further establishing my art.”

Why do you think you should win this year’s scholarship: “I know that I have the potential and drive to apply myself in the art and design industries. With the means to further my education I will have a fighting chance to do what I am most passionate about. I would use this prize money to pay for my future studies that will set me on my way to achieving my full potential.”

Alex Kimball
Alex is interested in pencil drawing and origami and attends Lambert High School in Georgia. You can see more of his work here.

Who/What inspires your work: “In drawing, I would say I am mostly inspired by Salvador Dali and his surrealist works. I really like the way he paints extremely realistically, even though he paints strange, dreamlike subjects. In origami I am mostly inspired by Hideo Komatsu and Eric Joisel. ”

Where do you hope to be in five years: “I hope to become a concept artist or an animator for movies and video games. I am particularly interested in projects similar to James Cameron’s Avatar.”

Why do you think you should win this year’s scholarship: “I think I should win because I am very passionate about my work, and winning the scholarship would allow me to purchase ZBrush. This computer program would allow me to develop my skills in 3D sculpting and animation.”

Tiffany Vander Laan
Tiffany is interested in interior design and photography and attends Manchester Essex Regional High School in Massachusetts. You can see more of her work here.

Who/What inspires your work: “Being half Japanese in a majorly white community, I have had some struggle against my identity. The differences in my appearance and family in comparison to my peers made me feel self-conscious. Through my work I express myself in a perceptive that embraces my individuality and the expression of my emotions about my environment and about myself.

“Every day I want to demolish my house. My mind’s wrecking ball could crash the drab walls and heap its debris across the popcorn carpet. The creaky bunk beds of brown oak lacquer and black matte metal would tumble. The linoleum floor would continue its crack into the depths of Hell. And under remnants of discolored wood paneling, the carpet stained by cat barf would never be seen again.

“I did not have the privilege to be raised in a designer home, but I was raised by a designer. My mother, a Japanese immigrant, studied fashion as a young woman — her creativity nurtured my childhood. She used to give my sister and me her sketch book and designer’s supplies which our tiny toddler hands would use to create disastrous scribbles and self-portraits which looked more like potatoes. My mother made ready-to-wear outfits for us throughout the 1990s; photos of its evidence flicker through family albums. Picture: Me, a 4-year-old munchkin of Japanese-Dutch face with short, brown curly hair and a muumuu dress, its color a splash of throw up and rust . . . Not an impressive choice of fabric, per se, but regardless, a symbol of my mother’s influence on me.

“Despite a few fashion faux pas sewn in my childhood, my mother was and continues to be my inspiration to design. Her attempts to reconcile the beauty of our home — painting mint green walls to brighten the moldy bathroom, making new couch covers to distract from the dingy family room, and purchasing paintings of seaside harbors (the classic New England indulgence) — where necessary to make me feel our house had a chance to improve. I know our house is my mother’s domain of design, her canvas of aesthetic private power.

“My mother grieves that she did not succeed as a designer and now she works in sewing drapery and in retail; distant from her fashion designer dreams. She warns me how hard it is to become successful and celebrated, and she has been apprehensive about my aspiration to design . . . but her uncertainty inspires me to become certain.

“My mother’s defeated professional dreams and the home she sought to improve have influenced my own desire to create beautiful things. Though I have fostered some bitterness for my environment, its qualities redeem intrinsic values to me. The design of my work shows the beauty, values, memories, and even resentments that have taken place within me and my surroundings.”

Where do you hope to be in five years: “In five years time, I hope that I will be working in collaboration with other designers, namely in interior design. In 2018, at the age of 22, I will have graduated from a four-year fine arts program or will be enrolled in my final year of a five-year fine arts program depending on the college choice that I am anxious to make for the fall of 2013. I hope that by my final year of college, I will be committed to an internship position which would help me gain experience in the work field. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in interior design, I would love to work in partnership with a professional residential design firm. I believe I am skilled in my insight as well as cooperation with others, so in five years when I am fresh with the knowledge of my studies I think it would be most beneficial to work in the industry in order to further my understanding of working with clients and the process of designing a residential space.”

Why do you think you should win this year’s scholarship: “I should receive this year’s high school student scholarship because I have persevered through self-taught art skills and I believe I have a talent in aesthetic design that has manifested itself into my daily life. My family and I would be grateful for the reward that could contribute to my college tuition fund. In a financial hardship, my parents are anticipating the cost of my college education in addition to the rising cost that they are already tolerating with my older sister’s university. As I dream of an esteemed fine arts study in interior design at one of my top choice schools (Pratt Institute, Parsons The New School for Design, and Concordia University in Montreal), I think about my reliance on my parents: how much will my family pay for the quality of my education? This question claims a struggle for my family and me as I desire to surround myself with compatible designers in a lively environment, however, the cost of living in such brilliant places stays high. For that reason, I am hoping to win this year’s high school student award in order to relieve my parents a portion of the cost for my college education next year.”

Helen Westergren
Helen is interested in studying wearable sculpture and attends H-B Woodlawn in Virginia. You can see more of her work here.

Who/What inspires your work: “I am greatly inspired by artists like Tara Donovan, Nick Cave, Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, and JR. They all have such a unique perspective and have inspired me to create different pieces that are created out of one item repeated over and over again, make sound when they move, or focus on fears until they lose all meaning. I am particularly inspired by JR’s Women project because I love the idea that art can be used not only the beautify a space but also to help those who are living there.

“The gardens of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Georgetown also greatly inspire me. I am currently working on a collection based on the various motifs and images found in the gardens. ”

Where do you hope to be in five years: “In five years I will most likely be starting graduate school or looking for my first job. I’d love to work up in New York and incorporate my need to be creative into whatever I am doing.”

Why do you think you should win this year’s scholarship: “I think I should win this scholarship money because I feel I have abilities across a range of medias and I am making work that is not typical of a highschooler. If I win the prize money, it will definitely go into my college fund so I can work on my art at a higher level. ”

****************************************************************************
ALL VOTES MUST BE CAST BY FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21ST AT 10PM EST

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Roxanne

Tiffany Vander Laan had an incredibly thoughtful entry! My vote is for her.

Julia

Pia’s work is stunning and moving – especially Burning House #2. She gets my vote.

Sandi Cass

My vote is for Pia Graham. I can’t think of anyone my deserving then her!

Melanie

I also find Tiffany to be particularly eloquent and thoughtful! Love her photography style as well. You’ve got my vote, Tiffany!

suzanne

Pia’s burning house series is stunning. They make me want to dig out my colored pencils and water colors!

Bonnie

I decided first based on the writing, then on the art. Tiffany got my vote with both.

Andrew

As a few others have mentioned, Pia Graham’s Burning House series is gorgeous. The depth of skill and concept she has is inspiring. Pia has my vote.

Timothy Mullen

vote for Jackson – mu college roommate was a photographer art major

leesa

all these kids are amazing – a truly outstanding group of young artists! so proud my son was included in the mix! so blessed!

Julie

Difficult choice but Helen gets my vote. Absolutely love the way she uses different materials and medias and fuses styles into originality. Her diversity reminds me of the great names of Morris, Lalique, Tiffany, Mackintosh et al. Would love to be around long enough to see her work in years to come :)

bob Mullen

I like analog Jackson.
Going analog is great. Should leave a great data legacy for future
digital storage methods.
Bob

Lynn Westergren

Thanks Design Sponge for opening up the High School category! My vote goes to HELEN…love being able to live where all this magic is being created and have this amazing girl as my daughter!! Best to all these outstanding young artists.

Sara

Jackson Brinkley. Beautiful photographs! And analog photography to boot?! They are all amazingly talented! Best to all the finalists!

Lou

Great work everyone. I particularly liked how specific Alex was about what he would use the prize for.

John

All talented kids, however I’m voting Jackson. You just don’t see enough film photography anymore. Great job everyone!!

KYLIE

Go alex kimball!!!!!!!!! I VOTE FOR ALEX AND YOU ALL SHOUD TOO
GO ALEX!

Jo Ann

Great work, Jackson, you get my vote. Congratulations to everyone!

Mackenzie

Absolutely amazing Alex! Your artwork is awesome and my vote is going to you of course :)

Sam

Pia’s work is elegant and evocative – she has immense talent and will go far with her art.

Amigh Mariani

Likewise, my vote has to go to Helen. Artistic and articulate, her work is diverse, original, exciting.

Marjorie Macieira

Helen’s work is outstanding and inspirational! She’s a winner all around with her wonderfully fresh perspective. You go girl!!

Vickie D

My vote is for Helen Westergren. Viewing her work and knowing her parents, I expect that she has great creative potential which would more than flourish with this prize.

Dr.John E. Grauley

Helen Westergren has done some incredible work for a H.S. artist which demonstrates her potential for the future.

Dr.John E. Grauley

Helen’s excellent work demonstrates her creative ability and potential. My vote is for her.

Chris

Helen’s work is amazing… Actually the creativity of everyone is inspiring… But I particularly appreciate Helen’s unique use of different media. I also like having a glimpse of where her inspiration from the different pieces comes from. Bravo to everyone.

Paige M. Bishop

Love – Love – Love Your Work Alex! Great Job!!
You got my vote.

DJ

Wow! Helen’s creative breadth using a range of media is impressive. Looking forward to seeing more from her!

Jennifer Cromartie

Helen — Your work is amazing! Full of whimsy and keen observation! Bravo for such a beautiful and diverse portfolio

Frank Haltiwanger

I especially like how Helen says: “I love the idea that art can be used not only the beautify a space but also to help those who are living there.”

Meg Malone

I vote for Helen Westergren, “I am particularly inspired by JR’s Women project because I love the idea that art can be used not only the beautify a space but also to help those who are living there.”

Kim Clark

Alex, awesome work and remember I knew you before you were famous. Good Luck!

Mary Chandler

The Chandlers are happy to vote for Alex! You are going to be so successful, we need to make sure you autograph something for us before you become the rock star of the art world! Good luck – you won’t need much because you have so much talent :)

Jennifer Scotti

So many talented kids, but I vote for Helen. The diversity of her inspirations and her ability to transform them into such beautiful and expressive art is amazing.

Whitney

VOTE FOR TIFFANY! Her work is amazing and her writing is wonderful as well! GO TIFFANY!

Kate

Tiffany is so talented! I am beyond impressed. She deserves this for sure!

Helen S

Tiffany is so talented! Her style is so unique and interesting. My favorite by far!

Mary

Helen’s work is very thoughtful and thought-provoking. I enjoy her fascination with self-concept and how ornamentation reveals our psychic needs.

Marjorie

Helen is courageous as well as talented She tries new media and areas. All her experiences carry over to her next project. I appreciate how well she can express her thoughts and feelings in her pieces.

Bill Bambach

Jackson Brinkley’s work shows great promise and should be nurtured.

Sophia

I missed this when it was first posted, and now there aren’t any images showing up after the jump…. If you get a chance to fix this, I’d love to see the students’ submissions!

LEAVE A COMMENT