Vineyard Conservation Society announces art contest winners

"Nothing Gold Can Stay," a photograph by Adelaide Keene, a freshman at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School. — Photo by Adelaide Keene

Results of The Art of Conservation, an art competition for Martha’s Vineyard high school students, were announced this week by the Vineyard Conservation Society (VCS), which sponsored the event. Prizes in drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography were awarded to 13 of the 88 entries by students from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School.

“We were delighted that so many students participated in the competition,” said Brendan O’Neill, executive director of VCS, in a press release. “We were so impressed by their responses to the competition’s theme of conserving what they love best about the Vineyard.”

First place awards went to Lucy Thompson of the Charter School for drawing, Hadley Chapman of MVRHS for painting, Austin Chandler of MVRHS for sculpture, and Kylie Hatt of MVRHS for photography. There were also Special Distinction awards in each category (see list below).

The winning entries will be on exhibit from May 7 to 18 in the Feldman Family Artspace at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven. A reception for the artists will be held at the exhibition space on Saturday, May 10, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. The public is invited to the exhibit and the reception. The reception will also include a free 5 pm showing of the award-winning film “Inocente,” about a homeless high school student pursuing her art against all odds.

Competition judges Chris Morse, who co-owns The Granary Gallery and The Field Gallery in West Tisbury and North Water Gallery in Edgartown, and artist Dan VanLandingham, an alumnus of MVRHS and artist who shows at The Workspace, both said they were impressed with the professionalism and range of the work.

“I can see this as a preview to some of these students’ futures,” said Mr. VanLandingham.

Mr. Morse commented, “The artists have chosen really personal responses to some very global issues.”

The judges were asked to make their decisions based on adherence to the competition theme, originality/creativity, professionalism, and overall impression.

Many works in the competition were accompanied by the artist’s description of his or her intent for the piece. Photography winner Kylie Hatt’s description of her black and white “A Rock’s Point of View,” which featured a spreading scrub oak, said: “The point of this photo was to show that I want to preserve all open areas…I also want to preserve trees because not only do they provide us with oxygen, but I feel like they are also a symbol for the island. Try to imagine the Vineyard without trees. Pretty hard, isn’t it?”

Although Hadley Chapman’s winning painting of three progressive stages in the erosion of the cliffs at Lucy Vincent Beach bore no description, its meaning was self-evident. Adding to the symbolism, Hadley used actual clay from the cliffs to paint the picture.

Prizes for first-place winners are gift certificates for art supplies donated by daRosa’s and EduComp, and gift certificates for special distinction from Tisberry, Scottish Bakehouse, M.V. Film Center, and Mocha Mott’s. In addition, each winner receives a free membership in VCS.

The complete list of winners of the competition is as follows:


First place: Kylie Hatt, MVRHS

Special Distinction:

Adelaide Keene, MVRHS

Caroline Roddy, MVRHS

Samantha Bettencourt, MVRHS

Beatriz Da Costa, MVRHS

Emilia Capelli, MVRHS


First-Austin Chandler, MVRHS

SD-Henry Jephcote, Charter School


First-Lucy Thompson, Charter School

SD-Bean Haller-Hiser, Charter School


First-Hadley Chapman, MVRHS

SD-Sabrina Reppert, MVRHS

Bean Haller-Hiser, Charter School