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East Chapel Hill Student Wins National Scholastic Art Award

Jihee Seo, a senior at East Chapel Hill High School, learned on March 13 that her illustration titled, "Walk Through Chapel Hill," has been awarded a Silver Medal in the National Scholastic Arts and Writing competition. "It feels strange because I wasn't expecting to get beyond the regional level. I'm really happy and surprised," she said.

jihee seo with awards Seo received multiple awards at the Eastern/Central North Carolina Regional level for her artwork: four Gold Keys, a Silver Key and one honorable mention. Each of the four Gold pieces advanced to the national level. Her AP Studio Art teacher, Elaine Algarra, said, "I am so proud of Jihee. She works extremely hard and deserves this recognition. I love how the piece that won national recognition is about Chapel Hill."

In her studio class, Seo is working on her final project portfolio, which allows each student to concentrate on a particular theme that reflects her passions. Seo's concentration is on the built environment, aligning with her interest in architecture. She loves exploring many different styles, but she is especially drawn to acrylics and collage pieces. Seo is bold in her use of colors, and many of her works have an element of precision and order.

Seo did not take any art classes until she entered high school. Algarra describes Seo as "a real kind of go-getter who listens well and asks questions." After graduation, Seo plans to pursue a degree in fine arts or architecture. Until then, she will continue to cultivate her skills and continue to expand her portfolio.