Winners of Scholastic Art Awards Gold Key competition for high school and middle school students were announced in February, and their artwork has been on display at the Nevada Museum of Art and the Holland Project. Lain Snyder—a 2019 Reno High graduate and Double Scoop’s newest contributor—visited Coral Academy of Science middle school, where Suellen Turman’s entire advanced art class earned awards. Lain talked with 8th graders Ryan Motta, Kaylei Dabel, Britany Williams, and Celina Tingely about the roles artwork plays in their lives.

Zoe Mansfield from Hug High had two pieces advance to the national competition. Here’s more on Zoe from Channel 2 News.

Here’s the entire list of Northern Nevada Scholastic Art Awards winners.

The Gold Key Exhibition—featuring Ryan, Kaylei, Britany, and Celina’s work—has been on view at the Holland Project Gallery. The American Visions Nominee Exhibition—featuring Zoe’s work—has been on view at the Nevada Museum of Art. The Nevada Museum of Art and Holland Project’s gallery are temporarily closed to visitors as of March 16. 

Kaylei Dabel, 8th grade


What inspired the piece you did?

To be honest, I just really like planes. But after I made it, I really saw that it could represent past wars, veterans and all that kind of stuff. 

That’s pretty sick, my dude. What makes you want to do art?

Oh, that’s hard. I really like seeing things that were in my brain on paper. It’s really cool. Also I’ve seen a lot of really cool things.

That’s awesome. What do you want to do post high school?

I’m really interested in astronomy, that kind of stuff. But becoming an artist, that also sounds really sick.

What role does art play in your life? How do you feel art helps you?

It does help me express a lot of feelings that sometimes it’s hard to say. I kinda like seeing people praise me for my artwork. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is so cool.” That makes me really happy to see them hanging on their wall.


Ryan Motta, 8th grade


What inspired the piece? What is it focused on?

It’s focused on the connections between nature and technology, I guess.

How did you get most of the resources for your piece?

We had a big roll of cardboard, and I was just like, I’m going to cut half of this, take it, do my piece out of it. And then basically just extra scraps and stuff I found.

Nice. What role does art play in your life?

It’s kind of a way to visualize what I want to do.

Nice. What do you want to do after high school?

There’s lots of things I could do. Maybe like an ophthalmologist, eye doctor. And I could be an artist. It’s always an option.

I wouldn’t put that in the bank, but it is an option. How does art help you in your life? How does it affect you?

If I have something cool to hang on my wall and be like, yeah, I did that and proud of myself for doing that.

Heck yeah


Britany Williams, 8th grade

My piece’s name is “Iconic.” It’s inspired by Jeffree Star.

I love that. What inspires most of your art?

Well, a lot of people, my family, they go through a lot of—I don’t know how to say this—it’s like, problems. So I wanted to help them, and I expressed their feeling through art. “Iconic” meant expressing sadness, through different colors and shapes, which a lot of my family members go through that.

What do you want to do after high school? What’s your plan?

I want to go to ASU and I want to become a psychiatrist. To help people with their feelings.

That’s awesome. What role does art play in your life now? 

I just like drawing. It’s fun, and when I’m bored I do it. But when I’m feeling a certain type of vibe, I try to I draw it, or I just like drawing humans.


Celina Tingley, 8th grade

What inspires your art—and specifically this piece?

I was looking online. I saw this rapper, probably Lil Uzi. I’m not too sure. He had his neck like this, and he had a butterfly, but it wasn’t a monarch. I think it was blue. And then I was like, “Hey, that’s pretty cool.” So I got my friend—she’s blonde, she’s a fake blonde. I’m like, “Pose your neck like this and take a picture and send it to me.” She’s like, “Why?” And I’m like, “Just do it. Don’t ask questions.” So she sent it. I drew it. I added a butterfly on. But I don’t normally do that. I normally do like more dark pieces, surrounding dark themes.

We would have been friends in middle school.

Probably, yeah.

What do you want to do after high school?

I want to work at Starbucks—cause that’s like a must-have. Or while I’m in high school.

They have pretty sick college benefits. You can get college money for that.

Yeah, that’d be pretty cool.

You’d also have to deal with Karens.

It’s OK. I’m alright at handling that. … And, Ms. Turman, she recommended me to go to an art school, so I’m taking that into consideration. But at the same time I feel like sometimes you don’t get anywhere in life. Like you become a starving artist, you know?

I mean … me. … What role does art play in your life?

Art in my life? I see it as an expressive outlet of sorts. Let’s say you want to do something personal. You can just turn it into art, get your all your feelings out on a canvas, a piece of paper, whatever you want. Or put meaning onto something and let people figure it out like a puzzle.

Posted by Lain Snyder

Lain Snyder is a 2019 Reno High School graduate whose passions include music and art. She received an honorary mention in the Scholastic awards competition in 2019.