ArtsFeb 25, 2022

updated Nov 13, 2023

Spotlighting Student Artists

Outstanding art recognized in annual competition

(Yolanda Zhang ’23 — Home)

Four amazing MHS artists have been recognized in the 2022 Massachusetts Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, sponsored by The Boston Globe and presented by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts.

Congratulations to:

  • Yolanda Zhang ’23, who received a Gold Key for her photo, “Home,” and an Honorable Mention for her photo collage, “Lift”
  • Cici Chen ’23, Gold Key, for her digital drawing, “Life Under Water”
  • Viola Quiles ’23, Gold Key, for her photo, “Hermano?”
  • Emily Meng ’23, Silver Key, for her photo collage “The Building I See Everyday”

2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Congratulations to Yolanda Zhang ’23, who received a Gold Key and an Honorable Mention; Cici Chen ’23 and Viola Quiles ’23, who received Gold Keys; and Emily Meng ’23, who received a Silver Key in the 2022 Massachusetts Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.


Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running initiative supporting student achievement in the visual and literary arts. Students from across the United States, U.S. Territories, and Canada participate, with awards presented in 28 categories, including editorial cartoon, drawing and illustration, photography, mixed media, and more.

This year, students in the Massachusetts regional competition entered nearly 7,500 submissions in the arts categories and more than 2,900 submissions in the writing categories. Overall in the region, students earned 1,375 Honorable Mentions, 807 Silver Keys, and 641 Gold Keys. The Gold Key is the competition’s most prestigious prize, and its recipients compete in the national competition held in New York City.

Yolanda’s award-winning photos were taken during a period of two years. She captured “Home” while taking Photography II at home in China during the 2020-21 school year, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many students to take courses remotely. She took the photo of her dining room table for a project called “Light and Shadows.”

“I saw that the light in that moment was beautiful and in the way it was reflecting off the table,” says Yolanda, who, despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, appreciated that she could spend more time with her family during the school year. “That moment in the photo really represents what home means to me.”

She used two photos to create “Lift” for a project in the Hallmark Art Intensive class she is taking this year. “I have taken a lot of photos of the campus, and I was interested in combining two photos,” recalls Yolanda, who chose an image she took of windows in the Klein Arts Center and coupled it with another she took of the sky. “I like trying to make connections with nature, and I like taking pictures of the sky, which makes me feel calm,” she adds. “I wanted to put something behind the windows that you wouldn’t normally expect to see there.” 

Yolanda was inspired by her father to take up photography. Though not a professional, he is serious about the art and has always taken a lot of photos of the family. Yolanda signed on for Photo I when she arrived at Miss Hall’s and hasn’t looked back.

“I just love taking pictures, and it all just seems to happen naturally,” she  says. “Sometimes I want to keep a moment forever, and I feel like using the camera is the best way to do that.”