Five Summit students win state’s top art criticism awards in their divisions

group of Summit students

From L to R: Natalie Campbell, Danny Beyerbach, Sofia Costea, Wyatt Christopher Gockerman and Anna Min swept the top five awards in two divisions of the 2019 Jerry Tollifson Art Criticism Open.

Students at The Summit Country Day School swept the top five awards in two divisions of the 2019 Jerry Tollifson Art Criticism Open, sponsored by the Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA).

In Division 1 for students in grades one and two, Summit second graders wrote art criticism pieces about The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning by Camille Pissarro. Anna Min, Covedale, won first place. Sofia Costea, Madeira, won second place. Natalie Campbell, Hyde Park, won third place. 

In Division 2 for students in grades three through five, fourth graders wrote art criticism pieces on Revenge of the Goldfish by Sandy Skoglund. Danny Beyerbach, Montgomery, won first place. Wyatt Gockerman won second place.

Their essays will be displayed at the 2018 Youth Art Month Exhibition at the State Teachers Retirement Systems Building in Columbus, where students have been invited to a recognition reception on March 2. All award-winning essays will be featured at, and the work of first place winners Anna and Danny will be featured in an upcoming issue of Ohio ArtLine, the statewide publication of the Ohio Art Education Association. 

Summit Lower School students have been participating in the writing competition for 19 years. Lower School art teacher Hilary Carvitti works with classroom teachers to help students develop articulation skills in composing critical responses to artworks. Students view the art work to be criticized on the ActiveBoard in the art room and talk about what they notice, what they think is happening and the choices the artist made in creating it. Students make notes on the discussion and take their notes to their language arts class where they write compositions, make changes and type their essays. The practice encourages critical thinking, sharpens observation skills and develops deeper understandings of the meaning, value and significance of works of art.