Low Visibility, Drawing & Illustration by Megan Cox, Grade 12, Age 17, White Station High School, Memphis, TN

Low Visibility, Drawing & Illustration by Megan Cox, Grade 12, Age 17, White Station High School, Memphis, TN

Hailee Cook and Megan Cox each received a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medal for their portfolios, and we are shining the spotlight on their remarkable works. Hailee says she uses her writing to process her emotions and hopes this authenticity helps her words connect with readers. In her art, Megan uses water to distort the images she draws as a reflection of the “beauty found within the messiness of life.” Through their works, Hailee and Megan encourage others to view the world through a new lens.

Hailee Cook

“I hope that people react emotionally when they read my writing. I could think of nothing better than for my writing to relate the reader to a piece of the human condition and evoke the feelings associated with those experiences. Ideally, I want my writing to stick with the reader over time—even if it’s just one line from one poem. I want the reader of my poems to walk away with something new, no matter what that is.”

Ultimatums

Poetry by Hailee Cook, Grade 12, Age 17, Arrowhead Early College High School, Las Cruces, NM

The storm clouds rolled in,
Drowning in a blue sky
Of violent tendencies.
The rain flirted with the desert
And the land desperately soaked up her love,
Shouting apologies
In the form of coursing street rapids.
My heart beat in rhythm to the thunder
And my mind whirled with the wind.
The rain kissed the ground,
And its life,
And my skin.
My glasses became windshields without wipers
And without them,
The world blurred.
My stomach tilted its axis,
But you were there,
Whispering reassuring words.
You brought the sun,
And chased the rain away,
Leaving the land unloved.
So it cracked
As did our bones,
And the land was set ablaze
By a sun whose fingers grip the horizon
And won’t let it leave.
Your smile cleared the charcoal fog
From the landscape,
But not my heart.
So you gave me an ultimatum
And I followed the rain.

A Watery Goodbye, Drawing & Illustration by Megan Cox, Grade 12, Age 17, White Station High School, Memphis, TN

A Watery Goodbye, Drawing & Illustration by Megan Cox, Grade 12, Age 17, White Station High School, Memphis, TN

Megan Cox

“My work conveys life as it is: messy and imperfect but beautiful.

“These pieces portray multiple situations where water is interacting with objects and scenes in the background. All of the drawings depict distortion in some way, and all of them are done in charcoal on white paper. Using water as a manipulative property to recreate an accepted image allows for a new view of an object or scene.

“To see how water can blend, mix, distort, and complicate images symbolizes how circumstances in our lives, whether big or small, can seem to mess up the whole picture; instead, they create a whole new, unique masterpiece. Do not be afraid to spray a little water here or there, and do not try to wipe it away. It looks better that way.”

Literary Disaster, Drawing & Illustration by Megan Cox, Grade 12, Age 17, White Station High School, Memphis, TN

Literary Disaster, Drawing & Illustration by Megan Cox, Grade 12, Age 17, White Station High School, Memphis, TN

To see more Gold Medal Portfolio recipients, past and present, visit our Eyes on the Prize series.

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