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Grace McDaniel ’24, Linh Tran ’26 Recognized at Art Exhibit


At left, “Decisions, Decisions” by Grace McDaniel ’24; at right, “Dragon Vessel” by Linh Tran ’26

Two Ravenscroft students have been recognized for their visual art submissions at the Fine Arts League of Cary’s Teen Art Exhibition: Grace McDaniel ’24 won the Jerry’s Artarama Award for her painting “Decisions, Decisions,” and Linh Tran ’26 won an Honorable Mention for her ceramic piece “Dragon Vessel.”

The Fine Arts League of Cary stages the Wake County Teen Exhibition each year as a way to promote and encourage young artists on their art journey. This program aims to inspire the next generation of creative thinkers by providing the opportunity to exhibit in a formal gallery setting and to be recognized for their work through an awards reception attended by local arts professionals and arts lovers. School art programs with winning submissions are also awarded a portion of the matching total of awards monies.

The exhibition ran May 10-18, with a reception on the 18th. 

Grace — a graduating senior enrolled in two AP Art courses, 2-D Design and Studio Drawing — noted that her college decision-making process was the inspiration behind her work. 

“It depicts a butterfly being pinned down onto a college acceptance letter. This represents the stuck feeling I had when I was overwhelmed with my options and felt like I would never be able to choose my college. All this butterfly wants to do is spread its wings and fly, but it can’t,” she said. “This is exactly how I felt when I wanted to be happy about my future but feared committing and having regrets later on.”

She said she was “shocked at first” when she learned she had won the Jerry’s Artarama Award.

“After going around the gallery and admiring the rest of the work, I knew it was going to be a tough competition, and anyone had a chance to win,” she said. “After the initial surprise wore off, I was grateful to the judges because as the winner of the Jerry’s Award from Jerry’s Artarama, I received a brand-new watercolor set — and watercolor is one of my favorite mediums!”

Linh Tran ’26 said her work was inspired by research in her Art II class. 

“We did some research prior to making our vessels, and I thought about a piece called ‘A Painful Pot’ by Johnson Tsang,” she explained. “We started this project around February, around the time of the Lunar New Year, so that was my main inspiration. 2024 is the year of the dragon, and I chose red and the lanterns because it is commonly associated with Asian celebrations. 

“When I learnt about my recognition, I was extremely happy. It made me feel like the hard work paid off, as I spent extra time outside of class,” she added. “It motivates me to enter in even more art competitions in the future and also to be even more dedicated to my work.”

Congratulations to these artists and their teacher, Allison Tierney!