Kennett High School Artists Receive Excellence and CCAA Best In Show Awards

Kennett High School seniors Lizette Bedolla, Alexandra Cresci, and Zoe Nguyen were recognized for their exceptional talent at the 45th annual Chester County High School Art Festival & Congressional Art Show. Alex won the Excellence Award, while Lizette and Zoe shared the evening’s top prize, the CCAA Board of Directors Best in Show. All three are students of Kennett High School art teacher Mr. Tom Hironimus.

Alex Cresci -Notorious Alex Cresci’s charcoal portrait (“Notorious”)

Alex Cresci’s award-winning piece, “Notorious,” is a charcoal portrait of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

When describing why she chose the photograph on which she based her drawing, Alex said, “In today’s political climate especially, I wanted to select a figure that I look up to as a strong woman, someone with values and a strong set of principles.”

Alex has not yet decided where she will be attending college, but she has definitely determined her major: engineering.

“Maybe I’ll minor in art,” she said. “I appreciate the visual and spatial awareness required by art. It’s not all that different from mathematics and science in the way that the details and various components work together to create a whole.”

Timeless Art Lizette Bedolla’s charcoal portrait

Lizette’s piece, also a charcoal portrait, features an elderly couple.

She explained, “The charcoal medium I chose really created a nice contrast and allowed for there to be more detail and depth. I chose to base my piece on the particular picture I did because I was really touched by the story behind it. I also noticed that older people are rarely represented in art, whether it’s in drawings or in the media or anywhere, so I took the opportunity to give them a place in my art that showed them as happy and in love as they are.”

Lizette will be attending Immaculata University this fall to major in business and communication, though she says art will always be important to her.

“Art has taught me so much about hard work and patience. Even though I won’t be doing art professionally in the future, I’ll still use it to foster my creativity. I’d like to have a career in fashion journalism someday, so I’ll always use art as inspiration,” said Lizette.

Finally, Zoe’s piece is another charcoal portrait, this one featuring legendary reggae artist Bob Marley.

When asked about the inspiration for her piece, Zoe said, “I grew up listening to Bob Marley. My whole family listens to him. My mom even said I was born with his music playing.”

Bob Marley Zoe Nguyen’s charcoal portrait

“The picture I picked to duplicate was a younger image of him — one not as many people would recognize right away. I thought it would be cool to try to draw his dreadlocks. Creating that texture is really difficult,” she added.

Zoe is headed to Jefferson University in Philadelphia, ultimately pursuing a degree in medicine, though she still plans to include art in her life.

“I think that it’s important to have a creative side, to have a different way of seeing things,” she said.

Mr. Hironimus is understandably proud of his students: “It is always special to have a student be recognized for exemplary work. This year it is especially amazing to have Alex claim her second consecutive award, a Kennett High School first, as well as to have Zoe and Lizette share the title of ‘Best in Show,’ an honor that we have received in back-to-back years.”

Art student winners Zoe (left), Lizette (center), and Alex (right)

All three young artists expressed their gratitude for Mr. Hironimus.

Lizette summarized their feelings saying, “I am grateful for the past four years I’ve spent doing art, as well as to Mr. Hironimus for giving me — and all Kennett art students — the opportunity to do what he loves so well.”

The juried exhibition was held from Tuesday, April 11 through Saturday, April 27 at the main location of the Chester County Art Association (CCAA) in West Chester. The show featured nearly five hundred pieces of art from Chester County high schools, including over twenty works by Kennett High School artists.