This year’s High School Art Exhibit featured some amazingly talented students and from that exhibition has emerged our Emerging Artist Award Winner, Sonja Heath of New Buffalo High School, New Buffalo, Michigan.

Sonja will be attending the Savannah College of Art and Design this fall in Georgia. She has an interest in animation and digital art as well as traditional art. According to her Art Teacher, Jake Zapor, “Sonja has been an excellent student overall, a dedicated artist, hard-working, and incredibly kind”. She was a leader of the New Buffalo High School anti-bullying club, a founding member of the school’s Peer-to-Peer program (a program where older students mentor special needs students within the school), and a star softball player at New Buffalo. In addition to her dedication to her school community and artwork, she has worked at her part-time job throughout high school to help save up for college, and she helps to take care of her brother who has autism. Zapor went on to say “I am biased, but I believe you would be hard pressed to find a more deserving student”.

Here is Sonja’s artist statement from earlier this school year:
“I create artwork focusing on expressions of embarrassment, longing, and fragility. I came about this theme living and attending high school as a teen girl in a co-ed environment and basing many of my pieces off of things I see, hear, or experience. I want to challenge set boundaries for who is allowed to show their true feelings as well as what feelings are appropriate to express both in artwork and in real life. Through my art I want to inspire and encourage authentic communication, open emotion, and a breaking-away from the status quo.”

Featured Image by Sonja Heath titled “Xander”.