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The Art of Conservation 2019: Connect

See the Winners' Gallery!

including artist statements and judges' comments

In its sixth year, the theme for this year’s high school art contest represented a return to its roots. Encouraging students to reflect on the value of nature and what it means to them — to connect with their environment — has always been the guiding principle of The Art of Conservation.

Winners were honored with an awards ceremony held during the Nature as Inspiration film festival. An excellent crop of entries this year yielded five First Prizes, taken home by Jenaleigh Griffin, Julianne Joseph, and Kyle Peters for photography, and Indigo Giambattista and Anabelle Cutrer for paintings. In addition, Special Distinctions were awarded to Rhanna De Oliveira, Kaleb Hatt, Anna Graham, Emma Van Lohuizen, Thea Keene, Kenny Cook, and Skyla Harthcock. After the judging, the staff at VCS also selected an additional favorite, a photograph by Emily De Souza. Winning works were displayed throughout the festival and for most of the following month at the Film Center’s Feldman Family Artspace. If you missed them, visit our website to view all of the wonderful work of our young artists!

Special thanks are due to: judges Cindy Kane, celebrated local artist, Monina von Opel, curator of the MV Hospital art collection, and Phil Wallis, director of the MV Museum; teachers Chris Baer and Tiffiney Shoquist, along with others from the MVRHS Art Department; local artists Melissa Knowles and Susie White for working personally with students as they explored this year’s theme; and the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council for financial support.

The Winners' Gallery, with descriptions and comments

The slideshow

First launched by VCS in 2014, the Art of Conservation contest encourages local high school students to reflect on the value of nature and what it means to them, and then to express themselves through the medium of their choice. We see this as an vital opportunity to deepen the sense of place among our young adults and connect them to local – and global – environmental issues.

Top: North shore painting by Danielle Middleton, MVRHS junior

Bottom: "Flower Power," triptych by Raven McCormack, MVRHS senior

Two of our favorites from the 2019 Art of Conservation