Art Students Succeed in Competitive Local Gallery

ELHS art students’ awarded submissions for Shoreline Juried Arts Competition


24 pieces of student artwork were entered in
the Old Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Shoreline
competition this April. East Lyme’s turnout
was highly successful this year as 22 of the 24
pieces earned selection for the gallery.
Advanced 2-D Art student, junior Tessa
Page, earned first place in the painting
category for her portrait, “I Couldn’t Explain
if I Tried,” at this year’s Shoreline Juried Arts
Competition: Future Choices 2022. AP Studio
Art student, senior Saayda Sajid, received
honorable mention in the drawing category
for her colorful piece, “Warm vs Cool.”
As an artist working for years to get selected
into the Academy of
Fine Arts, Page was
ecstatic to see her piece
in the competitive Old
Lyme gallery after
learning of her victory
during her Civics class
via email.
“My art has definitely
grown from a year ago
when I submitted and
didn’t get in, to this
year when all three of my pieces got in, and I
won first place in my category with a piece I
worked really hard on,” Page said.
Using colors to contrast the happenings
of the outside world and within herself,
Page’s piece simply and sophisticatedly
communicates to the audience exactly what
she intended: the inability to explain while
having the ability to understand.
The competition, receiving submissions
from 24 towns along the eastern Connecticut
coast, is in its 38th season. Art teacher Rachel
Michaud encourages every one of her artists
as well as each ELHS student to enter. Any
student can submit up to three pieces of
their choosing, with the opportunity to be
recognized and granted a cash award.
“I’m not going to lie, I don’t really enter art
competitions, but Ms. Michaud forced me to
and was really supportive, so I entered a few
things not expecting anything,” Sajid said.
Sajid was surprised to learn that she
had been accepted into the gallery out of
hundreds of applicants and had earned an
honorable mention.
“It’s validating, in a sense, to get the
honorable mention even though I made the
piece years ago. Someone held it to a higher
regard than I did,” Sajid said. The portrait
displays a calm woman with sharp features
of warmth to the right and cool contrast to
the left.
According to Ms. Michaud, winning is a
tremendous accomplishment. With hundreds
of entries and only 199 accepted works, the
gallery awards were
chosen with attention
to the skill and
effort behind every
finished product.
“Entering is
important, firstly,
because my students
are incredibly talented,
and secondly, because,
believe it or not, they
need to experience
the process. Rejection and acceptance are
necessary to art, and juried shows like this are
very subjective,” Ms. Michaud said.
The competition illustrated just how
much each and every art student has grown
individually, and how their pieces are being
recognized and appreciated by art specialists
within the Academy of Fine Arts.
Ms. Michaud is incredibly proud of her
students for sharing their work, fueled by
emotion and a desire to communicate with
the world.
“I could cry about watching my students
succeed and finding confidence. To see them
happy in what they’ve accomplished, I wish
that for every student who crosses my path,”
Ms. Michaud said.