Margaux Forster, an art student and senior at Grosse Pointe South, was surprised when her photograph of her dog Winston was selected for a Scholastics National Gold Medal last spring.
When the same photograph was selected by the staff of The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to be included in "Art.Write.Now.DC," a special exhibition of national award-winning work from the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Forster was stunned.
"I had no idea that my picture was capable of winning such a prestigious award...I feel so honored to have so much success. I am so thankful for the art program at Grosse Pointe South and my teachers that helped me throughout my career there," Forster said in an email to Patch.
Forster's photo was one of 44 works of art selected from students across the country for the prestigious show. The winning students and schools were recognized at a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building in Washington, DC on Oct. 12.
While Forster is modest about her talent and the appeal of the simple photo of her dog on a green background, Kit Aro, her Grosse Pointe South art teacher of three years, is quick to point out the obvious: Forster has a great eye.
"The common texture of the white dog and the green background helps emphasize the beautiful outline of his form. The simplicity of white and green also makes this photograph almost look like a cut out design. Those choices engage the eye and play with the viewer’s perception," Aro added.
Aro said that Forster is the third Grosse Pointe schools student to be recognized by the The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Forster explained how she created the interesting photograph, "I took the photograph a couple of summers ago. I was hanging out in my backyard with my friend and I noticed how my dog was laying...I took the picture at a couple of different angles and the overhead angle ended up being the most quirky and interesting. I don't think my dog even realized I was taking pictures of him because he was just doing his natural thing."
Forster is now a freshman at Michigan State University and had originally planned to study to be a teacher, but after all her photography success, she has rethought her future aspirations. She is now studying advertising with a specialization in design and a concentration in photography.
"Photography will always be a part of my life," Forster said.
"Winston" is currently on display at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building in Washington, D.C..