Every time she has entered an arts competition, she has never left empty handed. Her photography style emulates the simplicity of nature with a twist, as defined by her self-proclaimed “bizarre, and unique eye”. Rarely found without her Canon Rebel T2i in hand, senior Madeline Tew hopes to take her passion for photography to the next level by attending art school.
“I had always been drawn to art as a coping mechanism and when my uncle, who is a photographer gave me a camera, I couldn’t put it down,” Tew said. “Art makes me happy and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Tew has been interested in various art schools throughout the country, but has narrowed it down to three top choices- School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and Columbia College Chicago.
“I plan on majoring in photography and minoring in psychology,” Tew said. “My dream job is to be an art therapist, but anything dealing with photography is what I plan on pursuing.”
In order to prepare for a rigorous college curriculum, Tew has taken the necessary classes at Seaholm for art school admission.
“I have taken all the photography classes I could possibly fit in my schedule,” Tew said. “I am taking portfolio preparation classes and AP courses to advance my placement in college.”
According to Seaholm art teacher, Elizabeth Moyer, The Seaholm Art Department offers a wide range of courses to expose students to various art mediums and experiences.
“In all visual arts classes, we emphasize critique and explaining one’s ideas about their art and the art others make,” Moyer said. “This gives students practice for when they get into college and will be expected to justify what they are doing with thought provoking ideas.”
Moyer believes the Seaholm Art’s curriculum is an excellent way to prepare art-inter “Our art department is attempting to grow the program and include more students in the visual arts,” Moyer said. “We are doing this by continuing to update how we plan the courses, as well as expanding the range of courses that we offer.”
The applications for art schools vary greatly from standard college applications, such as the Common App.
“Most art schools are not on the Common App and have their own application process,” Tew said. “Along with submitting transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, and rec letters, essays are optional but help and usually relate to why you are inspired to be an artist.”
Tew stated that the portfolio is the most important part of the application process, and typically includes anywhere from 10-30 pieces of an artist’s medium.
This will be the third year Tew is entering the Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition, which gives students the opportunity to win awards and scholarships through the College of Creative Studies in Detroit.
“Scholastics is the most highly regarded art competition in the country,” Moyer said. “If students are chosen for the regional show, the teacher brings their work to CCS for the exhibit.”
As noted in a March 13, 2012 Birmingham Patch article, the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition receives more than 140,000 submissions annually from more than 77,000 students in grades 7–12. From those submissions, 1,000 winners are selected nationwide.
From the competition, Tew has won various awards. Her collection includes two of the highest awards, golden keys, and two honorable mentions.
Tew admits her art is hard to describe, but chooses to pursue it for other reasons.
“Art has been a coping mechanism for me,” Tew said. “Through my struggles I have found inspiration.”