Published in the March 29, 2017 edition
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — Sophomore Zoe Chen has earned a reputation for being a talented and dedicated artist at Lynnfield High School.
Chen’s talent was recognized recently when she won the Sixth Congressional District High School Art Competition.
She won the competition during an awards ceremony held at Montserrat College of Art. The exhibit included 148 pieces from 30 different public and private high schools located in the Sixth Congressional District.
“I am really surprised and thankful,” said Chen in an interview with the Villager last week. “It wasn’t something I was expecting, but it was really exciting and fun.”
High school art teacher Laura Johnson said Chen is the first LHS student to win the competition’s grand prize since 2000.
“I am so happy Zoe won because she has so much unique talent,” said Johnson. “She puts so much effort, energy and time while creating her work. I am so happy Zoe was recognized for all of her hard work.”
Congressman Seth Moulton sent his congratulations as well.
Chen’s award winning artwork is called Roots.
“It’s a graphite drawing of my grandfather on my mother’s side,” said Chen. “It’s called Roots because it has to do with where I come from.”
Chen said Johnson “came to me and said I should enter the contest.”
“She told me to get some photos of what I wanted to draw,” said Chen. “I took a photo during the break and I just drew it. First you have to get the outline and then you have to shade it.”
Chen commended the artwork submitted by area high school students in the art contest.
“The other entries were really good,” said Chen. “And everyone got to shake hands with Congressman Moulton.”
Johnson said Chen’s artwork will be sent to the U.S. Capitol, where it will be displayed along with winners from other high school art contests. She also said Chen will be attending a ceremony in Washington D.C. later this spring.
“I think it will be sometime in June,” Chen added.
Chen said she started drawing when she was “really young.”
“I like to draw with pencils and pens,” said Chen. “That is what I am most comfortable with.”
Chen said the high school’s art program has helped her improve her craft.
“I took a photography class, which was really helpful because you can see other ways to express yourself in art,” said Chen. “I am taking an independent study art class right now, which is really helpful because sometimes when I have too much homework or tests, I get an hour to relax and draw.”
Chen’s work was featured at the high school’s Open Studios event earlier this year, which showcased students’ artwork and music. She also draws when teachers assign projects that have an art component.
When asked what she enjoys most about drawing, Chen commented, “I enjoy starting from nothing and creating something in the end.”
“It’s nice,” said Chen.
While Chen does not know if she wants to attend art school, she said, “I think it would be pretty cool to go into something that has art incorporated into it.”
Johnson said Chen will be submitting her work in future art contests.