One south Charlotte student will spend this summer making artwork in preparation for her senior year.
Hannah Witner, 17, a junior at South Mecklenburg High School, was selected to attend the Governor’s School, a competitive residential summer program for high school students to hone their academic abilities and talents.
“I can’t wait to challenge myself,” said Witner. “I will attend school for five weeks at Salem College in Winston-Salem and meet other high school students who are also passionate about their art.”
All students attending the Governor’s School, the oldest school of its kind in the nation, will study in a selected discipline – visual arts for Witner – and pursue studies in related disciplines. Students will learn about the evolving definitions and roles of art in the 20th and 21st centuries and explore new artistic strategies.
The program is designed to “stimulate student creativity, move students to explore basic assumptions and unanswered questions, and develop an acceptance of the process of change.”
“I will take four classes a day: two in art, and one in philosophy, and global issues, awareness and critical thinking,” said Witner, an honor student. “It sounds interesting and thought provoking.
“I’m going just for the sake of learning,” said Witner. “There are no grades involved.”
Witner was nominated by her school and had to pass a placement test, and submit letters of recommendation and two essays. She was interviewed and asked to bring her artwork for review, all before being selected for the summer academy.
“It was a little intimidating to go to the interview in Raleigh because I didn’t know what to expect or what they would ask me,” said Witner. “I brought along two pieces of my artwork: “The Crippling Autobiography of Dreams,” a sculpture that is a self-portrait, and “The Rhapsody in Rachel, an oil painting in which I used my sister’s hands as a model.”
Her fears were unfounded.
“The interview turned out to be a great experience. I got to meet other art students who will attend the Governor’s School with me,” said Witner, who is vice president of the SMHS’s National Art Honor Society. She is a member of the Interact Club, and a group of students who tutor others.
Witner credits high school art teacher, Ellen Estes, with introducing her to the Governor’s School.
“Ms. Estes helps me figure out what I like in art, and how I can further my thought processes in learning about art,” said Witner. “She’s been a big influence in my artistic career.”
Carol Gifford is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Carol? Email her at email@example.com.
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