LYNNFIELD HIGH SENIORS, from left, Sam Bunar, Emma Condon and Kelsey Hodsdon have several prestigious art awards at the state and national level this year. (Dan Tomasello Photo)




LYNNFIELD — Three incredibly talented Lynnfield High School seniors have won several prestigious art awards this year.

Congressman Seth Moulton presented senior Emma Condon with the Grand Prize during the 28th annual Sixth Congressional High School Art Show and Competition at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly last month. Condon is the first LHS student to win the Grand Prize since Class of 2019 graduate Zoe Chen won it in 2017.

“It’s exciting,” said Condon. “I was really shocked. It was the hardest I have ever worked on a piece. It took a lot of time to create it, which proves hard work pays off.”

Condon submitted the colored-pencil drawing “Superposition” for the Sixth Congressional High School Art Show and Competition. The drawing will be hung in the U.S. Capitol along with the winners of similar competitions in Congressional districts around the country.

“I was working on it for a Sustained Investigation piece for my Advanced Placement Studio 2-D Art class,” said Condon.

“My AP portfolio theme is about dreams and sleep. I have had a lot of weird dreams because of the medication I have taken. That is where the motif comes from in the piece.”

LHS art teacher Laura Johnson said the AP Studio 2-D Art program requires students to select a theme for their portfolio.

“Students have to pick a theme of their choice, and they have to work on it for three quarters of the academic year,” said Johnson.

Condon said it took her a month to complete “Superposition.”

“It was my entire life for the month I worked on it,” said Condon.

In addition to winning the grand prize in the Sixth Congressional High School Art Show and Competition, Condon won a Silver Key in the Boston Globe All-Scholastic Art Awards for her “Sleep Paralysis” piece in the Drawing and Illustration category. She also won Honorable Mention awards for her “Empty Windows” and “Planet Nowhere” artworks in the Drawing and Illustration category of the competition.

Condon said her passion for drawing began when she was in middle school.

“I have been keeping a sketchbook, drawing and taking classes at a studio since I was in seventh grade,” said Condon. “I have taken art every year in high school.”

Condon will be attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) next fall.

Johnson said it’s a huge accomplishment that Condon won the Sixth Congressional High School Art Show and Competition Grand Prize.

“I am incredibly proud of Emma,” said Johnson. “It’s nice that she is being recognized for all of the hard work she has put in over the last four years. Emma was talented when she first joined the LHS art program, but she constantly took classes and kept refining and improving her skills. It’s a great accomplishment.”

Johnson said Condon will be attending a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in late June where “Superposition” and other Congressional art contest winners will be recognized.

“It’s super exciting that Emma will be able to go down to Washington, D.C. and see ‘Superposition’ hanging in the U.S. Capitol,” said Johnson.

Condon wasn’t the only LHS senior recognized during the Sixth Congressional High School Art Show and Competition. Samantha Bunar won the “Best in School” category for LHS for her piece called “Asphyxiation.”

“I am honored to receive the award,” said Bunar. “‘Asphyxiation’ is about personal body dysmorphic syndrome, which I have experienced over the years. It’s about the suffocating idea of how young girls have to measure themselves and compare themselves to the standards that society stresses. The Sixth Congressional High School Art Show and Competition was a great way to showcase my message because I feel a lot of girls can related to it.”

Bunar used Conté colored pencils to create “Asphyxiation.”

In addition to winning the “Best in School” category for LHS, Johnson recalled that Bunar also won a Gold Key for her painting “Society’s Grasp” during the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards.

“The ‘Society’s Grasp’ piece then went onto the national competition and won a Silver Medal,” said Johnson. “When a student wins a national award, it is in the top 1 percent of submissions in the country.”

“Society’s Grasp” also won first place in the Lynnfield Art Guild’s Student Competition during the Fall Judged Show and Sale last November.

Johnson said Bunar’s artwork is “really focused on hyperrealism,” which is a genre of art that resembles photographs.

“If Sam is drawing hair, it looks like she has drawn or painted every single hair by using light and shadows,” said Johnson. “If she is drawing waves in the ocean, every single wave is created with the most utmost level of realism. Sam’s combination of realism and creativity makes her pieces have that wow factor.”

Bunar has been making art since she was a child.

“I have been taking art classes at the high school since my freshman year,” said Bunar. “I am now in the AP Art program. Art is a great way to express topics that are hard to express. It’s a great creative outlet.”

While Bunar will be enrolled in Bates College’s Physics program next year, she plans on taking art classes in college.

Senior Kelsey Hodsdon won a Gold Key for her oil painting “Out of My Mind” at the Boston Globe regional art competition. She also won a Gold Key for her mixed media piece “Nyctophobia” and an honorable mention award for her work “Phobias.”

“‘Out of my Mind’ is an oil painting self-portrait,” said Hodsdon. “‘Nyctophobia’ is a colored-pencil piece with a paper cut in the background that is about the fear of the dark.”

Hodsdon recalled that she has won regional art awards in the past.

“This year felt more special because I am in the AP program,” said Hodsdon. “It was great to be recognized for something that I have been working on for so long. With the AP test coming up, it was a good way for me to measure how I will do on the test.”

Johnson has enjoyed watching Hodsdon’s growth as an artist over the last four years.

“Kelsey has done an immense amount of research for her Sustained Investigation piece about specific phobias,” said Johnson. “For every single project she has undertaken, Kelsey has done a ton of research to come up with all kinds of interesting facts that she bases it on. What is so cool about it is she is portraying fears and phobias through self-portraits. It’s a great combination of realism and creativity.”

Johnson also noted that Hodsdon has created a number of hyperrealism pieces over the past four years at LHS.

“Kelsey started with singers and bands she was interested in, and she always did an amazing job with those,” said Johnson. “It was really cool to see her create more personal subject matter such as creative self-portraits.”

Similar to Condon and Bunar, Hodsdon has been creating art since she was a child.

“I loved taking art classes in elementary school and middle school,” said Hodsdon. “I created my first oil painting during my junior year. I really enjoy oil painting.”

While Hodsdon hasn’t decided on which college she will be attending next year, she will be majoring in Biochemistry.

“I am planning on taking art classes in college,” said Hodsdon.

Johnson said she is incredibly proud of Condon, Bunar and Hodsdon’s artistic and academic accomplishments at LHS.

“Emma, Sam and Kelsey have had a lot of academic success in addition to being amazing artists,” said Johnson.

There were three LHS students who won Honorable Mention awards during the Sixth Congressional High School Art Show and Competition. Senior Michael O’Brien won an Honorable Mention award for his work called “Effects of an Injury.” Senior Allison Orlofski won an Honorable Mention award for her piece called “Thought Spiral.” Senior Lauren Lim won an Honorable Mention award for her work called “Naiveté.”