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PAEA Names UHS Student Secondary Student Artist of the Month

Congratulations to Unionville High School Senior, Jessica Hall on being named the Pennsylvania Art Education Association Student Artist of the Month. Jessica was nominated by her art teacher, Ms. Noelle Porco.

In her nomination, Ms. Porco shared, "Jessica’s dedication and commitment to the arts is unmatched. She is continuously striving to find ways to improve and build on her already extremely refined technical ability. She not only pushes herself with trying new materials and methods but works just as hard to push herself intellectually. I have been teaching for 13 years in a range of schools and I have never come across a student that is so thoughtful in every aspect of her artwork. She sets goals and creates a path to success. Even when obstacles present themselves she is incredibly capable of restrategizing and continuing to move forward which is a rare quality.”

In addition to being a leader in the art room during her scheduled classes, Jessica has also been an active participant in The National Art Honors Society. 

“This year she has taken on the role of president and leader, already she has demonstrated great leadership by creating volunteer opportunities with local organizations and mentoring young artists,” Ms. Porco said. “She has been an incredible asset to me as the advisor in assisting with organizing and running events. Jessica is invaluable in the art room."

Jessica believes art is important and had this to say about visual arts education, "Much of education nowadays is very stressful, with high expectations for grades, GPAs, AP credits, standardized testing scores, and overall workload. Art gives students the opportunity to unleash their imagination in ways that our rigid education system often doesn’t allow for, and art education is different, importantly so, in that it allows students to unwind, express themselves, and dive deeper into topics that they enjoy. It’s important to foster creativity in kids because problem-solving skills, mental flexibility, and innovation all stem from minds that can think outside the box."

Jessica also shared some advice for young artists. "My advice is to always experiment with styles and mediums, keep practicing, and, honestly, cut yourself some slack,” she said. “We often give ourselves the harshest criticism, and sometimes our negative talk can dampen our creativity and stunt our growth as artists. The best way to develop your skills is to let go of expectations, especially during practice and experimentation."