Senior Wins Four Medals at National Scholastic Art Awards

Michelle Zhang Stages of Grief No. 1.jpg

Lake Ridge Academy senior Michelle Zhang earned four top medals at the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards held in New York City. Her painting, Stages of Grief No.1, earned top honors by receiving both a gold and an American Vision medal. She also won a gold medal for a painting titled, First Visit to Kunming and a silver medal for the painting titled, United Nations, NY.

At the national competition, gold medals are awarded to the most outstanding pieces, while the American Vision award is given to one of the five pieces that were selected as American Vision regional award finalists. Since Michelle is a gold medal winner, she will be invited to the National Ceremony which will be held virtually this June.

Michelle reflected on the creative process behind her most awarded piece, Stages of Grief No. 1, and said, “Stages of Grief No. 1 is the first painting of a six-part series I created about the stages of grief (typically there's either five or seven stages but the specific story I was trying to convey only needed six). This series helped me hone my skills in storytelling and landscape painting. I wanted to create a sort of fairytale, while also relying solely on the outside world rather than painting a human in order to convey the emotions. The first stage of grief is denial. For this, I chose to have a foggy environment, along with a hostile manmade structure that towers over the viewer. In all of the series, there is this sensitive balance between nature and the man-made.”

Michelle is a member of Lake Ridge Academy’s prestigious School of Fine Arts program for aspiring artists to further strengthen their skills through increased course work and one-on-one training in the fine arts during high school. She earned a national silver medal in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. She will be attending Tufts University this fall to pursue a dual degree program between School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the School of Arts and Sciences.