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The GH Falcon

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Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
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Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Played in the Hornets home arena, Charlotte played host to first and second-round matchups including UNC vs. Michigan State.
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Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
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Green Hope artists score big at art competition

Lily+Hightower+%2825%29%2C+Mrs.+Melissa+Poppe%2C+and+Mrs.+Andera+Croom+celebrate+a+win+in+the+graphite+art+category.+Photo+used+with+permission+from+Lily+Hightower+%2825%29.
Lily Hightower (’25), Mrs. Melissa Poppe, and Mrs. Andera Croom celebrate a win in the graphite art category. Photo used with permission from Lily Hightower (’25).

Every year, the Junior Women’s Club of Raleigh holds an art show in collaboration with the Women’s Club of Raleigh, serving as an emblem of the community’s creativity.

The show transforms the local community into a showcase of artistic expression, with galleries filled with diverse works spanning a multitude of genres. By highlighting the works and talents of artists around the community, this festival gives high school students around the Triangle an opportunity to compete with their peers in the community.

Within the competition, there are four mediums to compete in: crafts, visual arts, photography and literature. This year, Green Hope’s art students submitted to two of the four categories. In those two categories, a total of eight students placed within the top three, with Lily Hightower (‘25) winning first place in graphite drawing; Sydney Mitchall (‘24) winning first place in digital; Isabella Norris Santos (‘25) winning first place in sculpture; Ayden Taylor (‘26) winning first place in fabric craft; Marie Park (‘25) winning second place in fabric craft; HE Hamilton (‘24) winning first place in basic and creative stitchery; Genevieve Garofalo (‘24) winning first place in pen and ink; and Sam Chu (‘25) winning third place in watercolor. By placing within first and second place, participants can proceed to district-level competitions, and if they succeed there, they can rise to state levels. 

I didn’t really do many portraits at the time that I made my piece, so it was made out of a need to do new things. Though it was still very much in my comfort zone as I chose to do it in graphite.

— Lily Hightower ('25)

For first-place winner Lily Hightower (‘25), this competition allowed her to branch out and explore new topics. “My process was really one of trying something new. I didn’t really do many portraits at the time that I made my piece, so it was made out of a need to do new things. Though it was still very much in my comfort zone as I chose to do it in graphite,” said Hightower.

Venturing into new mediums presents challenges, and Hightower found such challenges in both the technical and emotional aspects of her artwork. “I’d say that my biggest challenge was creating enough light contrast in my piece. Since we were given a brown paper bag to draw on adding in highlights was my biggest challenge. I ended up making it work by using some white charcoal!”

The experience, however, served as a learning experience for Hightower. “I think that this challenge has really helped my grow in my own perspective on my works. Among my friends, I’m notorious for not liking my own works, and having other people appreciate it has really improved my perspective of myself as an artist,” she said. 

Similar to Hightower, watercolor winner Sam Chu (‘25) also encountered challenges, surprises and growths. Chu elaborated on those experiences, describing the artistic process that led her to creating her award-winning piece. “I typically don’t work with watercolor, but since it was for class, I had fun playing around with the medium.  Because I made this around a year ago, I don’t remember the process exactly, but I do remember this was a sketch-free piece, which definitely made me panic. We had a few days in class to test out the watercolor and how we wanted to compose our painting. We had to paint the perspective that we saw, which was right outside the art room. After blocking in colors and adding shadows with pure watercolor, I went back in with ink and added minor details to bring the piece together as one cohesive image,” said Chu.

Like many of the participants, Chu didn’t know that her pieces were being submitted to the competition by Ms. Poppe. “When Ms. Poppe told me about my watercolor being entered into this competition I felt very surprised. Since I’m not a fan of watercolor, I had a negative bias toward my painting and thought it wasn’t good enough to be entered into a competition—but the surprise made me very happy and I felt pretty accomplished,” she said. 

Despite the pressures of competition, Chu felt more liberated than stressed in creating her work. “I didn’t really face many challenges [within the competition], I just treated this competition as an opportunity for my art to be seen. I thought that if Ms. Poppe chose my painting to be judged, then I should let the art speak for itself— if I didn’t place that would be okay, and if I placed, that would be amazing; that was my mindset,” Chu explained. 

The annual art competition organized by the Junior Women’s Club of Raleigh, in collaboration with the Women’s Club of Raleigh, serves as a platform for showcasing the talent and creativity present within the local community. Despite encountering challenges and surprises along the way, winners embraced the experience with enthusiasm and determination, ultimately reaping rewards for their hard work and dedication. Their successes not only speak to their individual growth as artists but also serve as inspiration for aspiring young talents within the community. 

I thought that if Ms. Poppe chose my painting to be judged, then I should let the art speak for itself— if I didn’t place that would be okay, and if I placed, that would be amazing; that was my mindset.

— Sam Chu ('25)

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About the Contributor
Alan Shr, Staff Writer
Alan Shr is a junior at Green Hope High School. This is his second year at the GH Falcon, and his interest in journalism was inspired by seeing influential works from other publications. Alan enjoys writing about a variety of topics, especially opinion pieces. He enjoys psychology and is the founder and president of the Psi Alpha Honor Society. Alan hopes to be a dermatologist when he grows up, especially providing essential care to underprivileged communities. He hopes for a great year and to make a positive impact on the GH Falcon.
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