A little levity went a long way this year.
The whimsical ink-and-watercolor works of Grace Hattrup recently earned her the grand prize for this year’s Bainbridge Island Studio Tour Youth Art Award.
She received a special award certificate and check for $400, said tour manager Dinah Satterwhite. Hattrup’s “playful style was well beyond her years, as the judges were in awe of her detail and subject matter, with color palettes and detailed work that was very consistent across all five of her pieces,” Satterwhite said.
Cash prizes were awarded to three Bainbridge high school students by the Bainbridge Island Studio Tour as part of their annual Youth Art Award. The award is open to Bainbridge students and residents who are high school juniors and seniors as of March.
This was the seventh year for the award, which is funded by last year’s Studio Tour artists, who donated a portion of their sales toward the prizes. Competing students were required to submit five photos of their work and complete an application form, including a detailed artist’s statement.
Hattrup, an Eagle Harbor High School junior, said in her artist statement that her work was meant to portray the feelings of childhood.
“My mission is to appeal to all ages because everyone was a child once and everyone can return to the unchecked curiosity of someone with no cap on the world’s possibilities,” she said. “Many of my works explore fantasy scenes that I wanted to discover when I was younger. Ultimately my goal is to leave the viewer curious about the world on a page. Additionally, I want them to feel safe and cautiously curious about what it would feel like to be the protagonist of one of my pieces.”
Two artists who were given honorable mentions were also awarded $100 each.
Faith Halko, a Bainbridge High School senior, won for her nature photography.
“She presented stunning images of local birds and wildlife in their natural setting, using reflection and mood to set the scene,” Satterwhite said.
The second honorable mention went to Ruby Macfarlane, a BHS junior, for her portrait photography.
“Working with a single subject, she chose to present her entries through five completely different views, using filters, vantage points, emotions, and much more,” Satterwhite said.
Both young artists explained the distinct, clearly considered motives and emotions behind their award-winning works.
“One of my favorite images I’ve ever taken is the photo of the river otter just after sundown, which I submitted,” Halko noted. “I actually took this on a recent outing … I was still adjusting to the fact that school had been canceled for the next few months when I decided to go to the beach. The sun had just dipped behind the horizon when an otter climbed out of the water with a flopping fish. I had to lay in a tide pool filling with the incoming tide to photograph it without scaring it away. The moment proved to me that even in the most chaotic moments in life, you can find beautiful ones, too.”
Satterwhite, a photographer herself, said she was
especially impressed with Macfarlane’s portraiture.
“Taking a picture isn’t like writing a story or drawing a sketch,” she explained. “It is way more personal because it is an unfiltered view of how the artist sees the world.
“While it’s easy to snap a photo or two, it can be hard to step out of the box and get really creative — capture emotion, or get really close to your subject. This girl is not afraid to do just that!”
Macfarlane said her portraits are designed “to expose the different aspects of a person’s personality.”
“In the media, we are spoon-fed these images of perfectly happy people,” she explained. “My initial goal for this project was to demonstrate that people are not as one-dimensional as they would like to be perceived. I wanted to show that people, no matter what façade they present, have numerous facets to their personality. My final goal for this project was to argue that to understand someone, we must learn about all sides of them.”
This year’s awards were decided by three judges, each a seasoned artist in the area and Studio Tour board member.
“Each student who entered, whether they won a prize or not, had much to say, and it came through in their work,” Satterwhite said.
Organizers are currently preparing for the upcoming Summer Studio Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Friday, Aug. 7.To learn more visit www.bistudiotour.com.