Images courtesy of Pinellas County Schools
I went from freshman year being at the bottom and no one liked my art style to being one of the top people in my class,” said 18-year-old Zachary Endicott, a senior in the Pinellas County Center for the Arts program at Gibbs High School, in a school district promotional video.
A few others also think a great deal about his art.
The non-profit Alliance for Young Artists selected Endicott’s collection of 12 clay art pieces for its highest Gold Medal Portfolio award for 2016 as part of its annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program. Only 16 students nationwide are tapped annually: eight writers and eight artists. Each one receives a $10,000 scholarship.
Endicott shipped some of his pieces to New York City for a June 2 ceremony at Carnegie Hall honoring his achievement.
“Last year, I did a scratchboard concentration and was really interested in the shapes and curvatures,” said Endicott. “I thought, ‘I wonder what this would look like in sculpture.’”
He made a vessel that resembled a castle teapot. After that, he decided, clay and architecture were going to be his concentration.
“It’s so important to believe that at some point, they’re going to find what it is that really makes them tick,” said Marty Loftus, art teacher at Gibbs High School. “Zachary figured that out and boy has he had a tremendous year.”
The alliance’s awards program, founded in 1923, is the nation’s longest-running recognition for teens in grades 7 through 12. Notable alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their fields include Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath and Stephen King.
“I really want to get into an art college and into animation for interior and exterior design,” he said. “If not, I want to do video game graphics and backgrounds.”
Endicott credits his artistic parents and his school with helping him to have unique experiences.
“My dad was a musician and my mom was an artist,” said Endicott. “Probably around [age] 2 or 3 I started drawing on paper. My parents could spend hundreds of dollars a month on paper.
“Gibbs [has] been a tremendous help with exploring my artistic side. I don’t think it would have been the same at any other high school. I’m really happy I got to go here.”
Other Pinellas County School students recognized by the alliance in New York City are:
• Stephanie Hyde, Dixie Hollins High School, Photography, “Aidan’s Stride”
• Mallory Lundquist, Gibbs High School, Drawing and Illustration, “Skinny Dipping”
• Ryan Molter, Dixie Hollins High School, Film & Animation, “Picture Day”
• Indigo Naar, Gibbs High School, Sculpture, “Katrina: 1,833 Remnants”
• Justin Pentith, Dixie Hollins, High School, Photography “Take a Second Look”
• Sarah Garcia, Gibbs High School, Drawing and Illustration, “Unrealistic Expectations”
• Aidan Schaffert, Gibbs High School Painting, “Moses”
• Mallory Lundquist, Gibbs High School, Art Portfolio, Object “Permanence”
• Indigo Naar, Gibbs High School, Art Portfolio, “Points of Inflection”
• Shelby Pogue Gibbs High School, Art Portfolio “Repurposed”
• Phoebe Roess Studniarz, John Hopkins Middle School, Fashion, “I Wear My Paint”
• Mya Nowicki, Gibbs High School, Fashion “A Dress Named Keith”