GASTONIA — Gaston Day School senior Holland Haag of Lake Wylie will head to New York City to receive her gold medal May 31 for The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards at Carnegie Hall.
More than 1,600 students across the country in grades 7-12 are chosen to receive gold, silver or honorable mention awards.
“I am so proud of what Holland has accomplished. Scholastic nationals are the ‘Oscars’ of high school,” said her art teacher, Holt Harris.
Holland’s ink drawing “Drenched” will be on display at Parsons The New School for Design and the Pratt Manhattan Gallery through June 15.
She is the daughter of Mark and Felicia Haag.
“Water fascinates me: the shades of blue, the distorted lighting, the smell of the chlorine, everything about it. The consistency of it creates a mystery to me because the only way to be able to hold or familiarize with it is to submerge oneself in it. There is no way to fully capture the weightlessness and freedom that swimming creates, but I tried to do so in my artwork.
“Art has always played a large role in my life so I have always tried to be creative, but also logical and linear. My portfolio shows the lineage of getting in the pool, the comfort I attain by swimming, and then reluctantly getting out. I tried to put an emphasis on the value of lighting on the girl while she swims to make up for having no color. I used squiggly lines to create gradation in each piece to try to represent the distortion water creates and to resemble bubbles.
“In my piece Plunge, I really exaggerated the rays of light on the girl’s feet and legs. The rhythm of strokes and kicks while she swims is shown by the rhythm of repetition of distorted lighting the water creates in each piece, especially Soak.
“In Drench, I have the girl emerging from the water and focus mainly on the reflections the water creates on the pool wall and on her shoulder.
“I tried to imitate the buoyancy in my piece Breathe by the juxtaposition of the bright water against her flowing hair. I hope my work makes viewers feel the weightlessness and forget what makes them feel weighed down on land.”