This work by Alejandra S., 11th-grader at Reavis High School in Burbank garnered one of the honorable mentions in The Imagination Project, the Sun-Times’ student art contest.

This work by Alejandra S., 11th-grader at Reavis High School in Burbank garnered one of the honorable mentions in The Imagination Project, the Sun-Times’ student art contest.

Chicago, suburban high-schoolers respond to Sun-Times art contest with breathtaking images

We published the winners last weekend. Today: some of the honorable mentions, centered on the theme “Brighter Days,” with critiques by Chicago artists Damon Lamar Reed and Andy Bellomo.

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W
e might be stuck at home more than we’d like, but there’s real creativity behind those walls, as the avalanche of submissions to the Chicago Sun-Times’ The Imagination Project student art contest shows.

We published the winners last weekend. Today: some of the honorable mentions — from high-schoolers, all centered on the theme “Brighter Days,” with critiques by Chicago artists Damon Lamar Reed and Andy Bellomo.

  • Alejandra S., 11th grade, Reavis High School, Burbank (at top)

Damon Lamar Reed: “Very cool and very whimsical. I would say you have no limits on where your art can take you.”

Andy Bellomo: “So surreal and fascinating. I love the blend of colors supporting the rainbow and how smoky and flowy they feel, almost like a ghost in a magical world, with some energy of moving forward into a place of fun and freedom. I love the rainbow as the center of the work.”

Ca’che K., 11th-grader at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School in Chicago.

Ca’che K., 11th-grader at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School in Chicago.

Hear more about The Imagination Project

Reporter Robert Herguth talks with WCIU’s ‘The Jam’ crew about The Imagination Project.

Reporter Robert Herguth talks with WCIU’s ‘The Jam’ crew about The Imagination Project.

  • Ca’che K., 11th grade, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “The jellyfish and the hairstyle really create a cool juxtaposition. The detail on the eyes and lashes is excellent.”

Andy Bellomo: “Quite a gorgeous and unique image. I love the accentuation of the eyes. The painting is done so softly, with a great tone.”

Brianna B., 11th-grader at Taft High School in Chicago.

Brianna B., 11th-grader at Taft High School in Chicago.

  • Brianna B., 11th grade, Taft High School, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “OK, that’s chalk — not an easy medium to work in.Plus, you have to deal with the fact that each work is temporary.That actually makes them more valuable.”

Andy Bellomo: “I love this chalk drawing because we are able to recognize the image, and it’s done very well, with great coloring, line work and blending. The geometric pattern looks really cool.”

Caeley D., 9th-grader at Lincoln-Way West High School in New Lenox.

Caeley D., 9th-grader at Lincoln-Way West High School in New Lenox.

  • Caeley D., 9th grade, Lincoln-Way West High School, New Lenox

Damon Lamar Reed: “A fun scene that looked like it took a lot of time to execute.”

Andy Bellomo: “I love the colors and details. The umbrellas are drawn so carefully and the chairs next to them as well. The amusement park scene truly fills up the page with wonder, and I love how much space the beach takes up. The colors are perfect. A great piece of art, so joyous and painted so delicately.”

Ava E., 10th-grader at York Community High School in Elmhurst.

Ava E., 10th-grader at York Community High School in Elmhurst.

  • Ava E., 10th grade, York Community High School, Elmhurst

Damon Lamar Reed: “This is A1 drawing.Shadows, shading, creating depth — you got it.The girl helping the boy up creates a good narrative.The only advice I have for you is: Don’t let your paper get wrinkled.”

Andy Bellomo: “A tremendous pencil sketch. The details are amazing. Such great shading, shapes and detail. The folds on the clothing are such high-level pencil work. The image gives us such a warm feeling of helping and friendship. What a great piece.”

Gilberto C., 9th-grader at Horizon Science Academy in Chicago.

Gilberto C., 9th-grader at Horizon Science Academy in Chicago.

  • Gilberto C., 9th grade, Horizon Science Academy, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “Classic street scene.I appreciate the movement.”

Andy Bellomo: “This is great drawing/colored pencil sketch with a lovely message of telling us to simply look outside.”

Patricia S., 10th-grader at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago.

Patricia S., 10th-grader at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago.

  • Patricia S., 10th grade, Lincoln Park High School, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “I’m thinking this is four portraits in one, which is really cool.I like how the white mask seems unfinished.It creates depth.The fact that her face is only partially covered reminds me that there really are brighter days ahead.”

Andy Bellomo: “A great image of feelings that we are all having. It’s a simple piece yet very powerful. It feels like there is some hope as we see the lips and nose begin to come through one of the masks. The gestures in the eyes are strong and feel different on each figure, giving the sense that everyone feels their own way through all of this.”

Gabriela G., 12th-grader at Lane Tech College Prep in Chicago.

Gabriela G., 12th-grader at Lane Tech College Prep in Chicago.

  • Gabriela G., 12th grade, Lane Tech College Prep, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “The angles, the colors and the tones are well done. I appreciate the subtle shifts in color, ‘cause great art is really about the subtleties, the things that you sometimes miss but then go back and catch it.It draws me in.”

Andy Bellomo: “This is a great geometric image. The orange tones came out great and give the flower some great depth and overlapping. I love the smaller shapes in the center as well. It’s filled with so many smaller shapes but works so well together as whole image. The color is powerful and gives a sense of happiness immediately and using pink in the background really pushes the flower forward.”

Bryan D., 12th-grader at Senn High School in Chicago.

Bryan D., 12th-grader at Senn High School in Chicago.

  • Bryan D., 12th grade, Senn High School, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “There’s an innocence in this picture.It’s a beautiful scene before we humans come along. This piece tells a whole story without the use of people!”

Andy Bellomo: “I love the pops of light across the large tree and how the sky has little ripples in it. Such a dreamy image.”

Kiera H., 11th-grader at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School in Chicago.

Kiera H., 11th-grader at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School in Chicago.

  • Kiera H., 11th grade, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “I love how the lines in the hair relate to the lines in the waves.The use of pencil with the paint creates a cool dynamic.”

Andy Bellomo: “Very layered and powerful. The image itself tells us such a story. The face is drawn so well. The piece is meditational and created with great skill.”

Josue C., 9th-grader at North-Grand High School in Chicago.

Josue C., 9th-grader at North-Grand High School in Chicago.

  • Josue C., 9th grade, North-Grand High School, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “Great color palette.The complimentary colors make it pop.And the diagonal position of the orange is really cool.You should check out some Wayne Thiebaud art!”

Andy Bellomo: “I love the combination of orange and green together and how simple the image of the avocado is. I’d love to see this large, like a full wallpaper wall of this painting.”

Lena Z., 11th-grader at Reavis High School in Burbank.

Lena Z., 11th-grader at Reavis High School in Burbank.

  • Lena Z., 11th grade, Reavis High School, Burbank

Damon Lamar Reed: “The use of light really helps to create the focal point.”

Andy Bellomo: “This image is beautiful and created with some great skills in character illustration. It’s balanced and magical, and I love that I’m seeing a crystal ball that seems to have disappeared. The background makes it feel quite witchy, and I love that the stars come across her body to give this idea of floating in the air.”

Luke R., 9th-grader at Brother Rice High School in Chicago.

Luke R., 9th-grader at Brother Rice High School in Chicago.

  • Luke R., 9th grade, Brother Rice High School, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “You really created good movement in this piece.”

Andy Bellomo: “This is an extremely emotional piece of art. It feels like waves crashing across the full moon, and the blue tones are gorgeous. The strokes change from dots to brushstrokes, giving it some real depth. It’s quite engaging and I couldn’t stop looking at it for more meaning.”

Leticia M., 10th-grader at Curie Metro High School in Chicago.

Leticia M., 10th-grader at Curie Metro High School in Chicago.

  • Leticia M., 10th grade, Curie Metro High School, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “Good job on catching the expression and getting the hand size right.”

Andy Bellomo: “I love the long hair on this character and the story being told here. The figure is drawn well, and the hand gesture is particularly interesting and fluid.”

Ruby D., 10th-grader at Lane Tech College Prep in Chicago.

Ruby D., 10th-grader at Lane Tech College Prep in Chicago.

  • Ruby D., 10th grade, Lane Tech College Prep, Chicago

Damon Lamar Reed: “The fact that it’s nighttime is pretty cool.Seems like they are going on a journey.Maybe solving a mystery like Scooby-Doo.”

Andy Bellomo: “This is a very special scene of what feels like a family spending time together. I love how the people are drawn; feels so unique and refreshing to see an original style of figure representation. The details are fantastic, the headlamp, raccoon walking with and collar on the woman’s shirt. Even the dog has a light on its collar. The colors are working so well together, and I love this larger beam of light coming from the middle of the piece.”

Soleil W., 11th-grader at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox.

Soleil W., 11th-grader at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox.

  • Soleil W., 11th grade, Providence Catholic High School, New Lenox

Damon Lamar Reed: “Wow!You tackled 3 difficult things: hands, water and teeth.Normally, I tell students to not even draw teeth because I think they are most complicated.You did them like a pro.And your water splashes really bring life to the image.”

Andy Bellomo: “Wow, what a professionally done work! The image is painted so well, and the subject is beautiful. The details of the splashing water are fantastic, as well as the shadows and highlights. I love the smile and how the happiness comes through on this work. It’s very heartwarming, and the hand gesture is so sweet.”

SEE THE WINNERS

Click to see the winners of “The Imagination Project.”

Click here to see the winners of “The Imagination Project.”

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