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MCPS High School Students Exhibit Works at Photography Show at JHU Campus

Students photography exhibit

For nine years, Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus has held an art show featuring the mixed-media art of Montgomery County Public Schools high school students. Photography was included a few years ago.

As the number of photography entries grew, a decision was made to hold a separate show for the medium this year.

Students from 10 Montgomery County public high schools now have their photos on exhibit at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus.

Of the 248 photographs submitted, jurors selected 64 to be showcased. Six students won prizes. (photo gallery)

An opening reception for the exhibit was held on campus in April. Parents, students and community residents gathered to view the art and hear the winners announced. The exhibit will be on display through May 13 in the lobby of the campus’s 9605 Building. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

“With technology today, photography as an art form makes creating art very accessible to students,” said Linda Adams, fine arts supervisor for Montgomery County Public Schools.

The exhibit is one of JHU’s programs designed to get children excited about STEAM education. The A in STEAM is for “art,” an important component of a well-rounded student’s education. (STEAM is an acronym for Science-Technology-Engineering- Art-Mathematics.)

“Photography has traditionally relied heavily on an understanding of STEAM,” Adams said. “STEAM is demonstrated through the students’ use of the camera, lighting, film development and now through the use of software to process and manipulate images in a contemporary manner. However, technology is the tool the artists use in photography to capture and communicate their thoughts and big ideas. Having the creativity and innovation through the arts is what truly helps round out a STEAM education.”

Marjan Hassan, a Quince Orchard High School senior, took top honors for her photo, “Beyond the Reflection.” She snapped a photograph of Balboa Park on a family trip to San Diego a few years ago. Then the AP Studio Art student took a photograph of a friend in the photography studio at her school. She used PhotoShop to integrate the images. The image of Balboa is symbolically tattooed onto the woman’s body, representing permanence.

Hassan took photography as a freshman and “got hooked.” She watched YouTube videos to teach herself the intricacies of PhotoShop. She plans to study biology at Towson University but might minor in or at least dabble in photography.

“It’s great to send a message without using any words,” she said.

Below is a list of winners and comments about their work from juror Tracy Lee:


1st Place: Beyond the Reflection by Marjan Hassan of Quince Orchard High School - A very Beyond the Reflection -M Hassanclassic black and white composition but modern digital elements seamlessly blended it. Interesting composition, eye catching imagery, technically a very well done photo. Creative use of the digital elements.




Circus -A Coakley

2nd Place: Circus by Abigail Coakley of Poolesville High School - Very whimsical. This made me smile. I loved the bright colors, the composition and the playfulness of the image.

The Journey to Nowhere -M Adomou3rd Place: The Journey to Nowhere by Merveille Adomou of Rockville High School – I loved the white space and the minimalist aspect of this imagery. Sometimes less is more! The digital images were once again seamlessly combined into one while also making an emotional statement.

Honorable Mentions
Galaxie -R Set
Galaxie by Rothony Set of John F. Kennedy High School - The color, composition and sharp focus really made this image stand out. The almost monochromatic print of rust colors - decaying old car covered in decaying leaves - and then with the bright blue of the windshield in high contrast really worked together to make an interesting and a very visually pleasing photo.
Life is Like the Pages of a Book -K Staten
Life is Like the Pages of a Book by Kimberly Staten of Quince Orchard High School - What really struck me about this photo was the motion it conveys and how something simple as a page turning can be captured and made into a beautiful composition.

Lady in the Water by Annika Land of Poolesville High School - A very Lady in the Water -A Landhaunting image. I loved the deep color and the limited palette that really highlighted the face with an almost ghostly effect.

CATEGORY: The Arts, K-12 Outreach