PAA Announces 2021 Student Award Winner

May 18, 2021Members' Area, News, Uncategorized

Cecelia Plympton, who will graduate from Penfield High School in June, will receive the annual Penfield Art Association student award for 2021.

Cecelia, the daughter of Penfield residents Lisa and Rick Plympton, will enter the Metals and Jewelry Design program at Rochester Institute of Technology this fall.

Cecelia enjoys working with graphite, ceramics, charcoal and various metals – especially jewelry making with silver. She says, “My favorite piece that I have created is the photo book that I shot and put together. The story that is shown by the images is of a man who is stuck in a box, and when a person comes to him to help he is disappointed that the assistance is not a key to open the box, but a microphone to help others hear his story. While it is important for oppressed voices to be heard, awareness cannot bring justice on its own.”

Cecelia also plays the drums and designs and runs lighting for local events, concerts, and theater productions.

The student award winner, selected by the art faculty at Penfield High School, is presented to a student who shows excellence in visual art. PAA has presented a cash award to a Penfield High School senior each year since 1976. The student is selected by the art faculty.

Works by Cecilia Plympton:

Gold Rose, colored pencil

Contrast, charcoal

Ignorant Hero, photo book

Socked Person Falling into Chaos, glazed stoneware

Squat in a Pot, raku-fired ceramic

Human Tears, silver and agate ring

Fisherman, graphite still life

Rain, copper miniature sculpture (two views)

Here, in her own words, are Cecelia’s thoughts on her art:

“I have always enjoyed making art, but it wasn’t until about six years ago that I really began to appreciate it. This was when I had grasped a basic set of skills and was able to explore new styles and types of drawing and sculpting. Around this time I also started learning about the elements of art that give a composition its strength and ability to carry a focused message. These were very interesting to me, and I was especially fascinated by color theory and the visual effect of intense contrast.

“I am always looking for new techniques or media to try out and this drive to explore has me creating quite often. I am proficient in most media but I prefer metals, ceramics, and charcoal. Silversmithing is my favorite type of art, and something I intend to study in college. Charcoal, on the other hand, is the medium I have the least experience with but still something I find allows me to express my ideas most effortlessly.“I am excited by art and its function as a way of expressing myself through content and design. It amazes me that art can evoke strong emotions in people and invite them to explore new ideas. My art tells stories, comments on themes that are personal to me, and invites viewers to empathize with the subjects. My process usually starts with playing with materials to find how their properties can relate to the messages I want to convey. Most of my art will show clear contrast, be it between colors, values, volumes, or stronger and weaker materials.

“For the past few years, I have found positive motivation in the arts. Being unable to find energy to do what you love is frustrating. Sometimes I hated art, because I had to force myself to be creative and to work on my projects. I discovered freshman year that art was an outlet I could use to work through my negative thoughts and convert them to something beautiful and tangible, so with this new incentive to create I started spending more and more time in studios.“During the lockdown, as well as over the years, I have learned that it is important to take breaks in order to avoid burnout and to be lenient with myself on my worst days. Relearning how to approach my artmaking process has given me more confidence in my decision to pursue art as a career. Truthfully, I am not sure that I am even close to being satisfied with this portfolio. I am hopeful, however, because there are plenty of opportunities for me to produce far better pieces in the future!”