Kaitlyn Symanski’s photos receive high honors at Scholastic Art Awards

As the second semester is beginning, Darby art students are busy bees, preparing to enter their best pieces into competitions. Some of the most notable contests are the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, which both aim to honor outstanding works of art by high school students throughout the state of Ohio. As of January 14, a total of 10 artists and 18 pieces of work by Darby students were given awards by the Scholastic Art Association. The pieces ranged from photography, to ceramics, to illustrations and sculptures.

  One stand-out award recipient is photographer Kaitlyn Symanski. Symanski is a junior at Darby and has taken photography since she was a freshman. Currently enrolled in Photography 3, Symanski is clearly dedicated to her craft. Symanski started to gain an interest in photography just before her freshman year at Darby, after hearing about the photo program through a field trip to Darby during her art class in 8th grade. Since then, Symanski has quickly become one of the most acclaimed photographers currently at Darby, with three of her pieces winning awards from the Scholastic Art Association. Their titles are, “Soul Deep”, “Flower Boy” and “Commonwealth”.


“Soul Deep” Kaitlyn Symanski

   Two of Symanski’s photos that gained recognition were portraits. One portrait, “Soul Deep”, showcased natural lighting, and the other, “Flower Boy”, was part of a series of portraits of people with flowers arranged on their faces, . Symanski particularly gravitates toward portraits when taking photos.

  “I usually like to take portraits, just because I feel like there are a lot of creative pathways that you can take when taking portraits,” Symanski explains.

“Flower Boy” Kaitlyn Symanski

  Unsurprisingly, her award winning portraits were products of some of Symanski’s favorite projects as a photo student. The portrait “Soul Deep” came from a project exploring natural lighting and black and white color schemes.  “Flower Boy” came from a much bigger project, where students were tasked in shooting photos for a calendar with a coherent theme. Symanski chose the concept of portraits of people with different flowers on their faces for her calendar, resulting in the photo “Flower Boy”, as well as many other outstanding portraits.

  Although the majority of her work is portraits, Symanski also enjoys taking still life photos, if inspiration strikes.Symanski explained how her artistic instincts help guide her photo-taking.

  “Sometimes, if I find something that’s really cool, I’ll do

“Commonwealth” Kaitlyn Symanski

 still life. Like the ‘Commonwealth’ piece that I did. It was a picture of mangos that I saw at a farmers market that I really liked.”

  Symanski’s still life, “Commonwealth”, also won an award in the Scholastic Art competition. The piece, while simple, very clearly illustrates Symanski’s artistic eye when it comes to photography, a talent that sets her apart from many other photographers.

  Overall, Symanski hopes to continue photography throughout high school, and possibly into the future. With the endless inspiration that can be found around her, there is no telling what amazing things she will do next.

  Alongside Symanski are many other talented artists at Darby who were also honored by the Scholastic Art Association. A full list of the winners can be found on the home page of Darby’s website. Be sure to check out some of the Darby students’ work and congratulate someone that you know.    

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