The Fine Arts Department at St. Thomas has consistently embraced the opportunity to broaden the creative horizons and foster the confidence of Eagle students while giving them the opportunity to showcase their craft beyond the classroom.
Nine Eagles captured acclaim at the National Scholastic Regional Art Competition sponsored by Harris County Department of Education, the latest in a long series of St. Thomas distinction led by dean Mike Nebel.
Williams Castillo ‘19 became the first-ever Eagle to be honored with Gold Key distinction in Drawing and Illustration, one of only 80 Gold Keys awarded among more than 1,500 entries from private and public schools.
Nick Phan ‘17 was recognized with two Gold Keys in Ceramics and Glass while Ryan Philipps ‘17, Nicholas Rodriguez ‘17, Michael Sides ‘17 and Daniel Silguero ‘17 all each earned one.
Sides also collected two Silver Key distinctions along with Matthew Coughlin ‘17, with Baxter Jones ‘17 and Robert Wight ’17 adding one each, and Wight also receiving an Honorable Mention selection.
“Amazing” is the one word description from Nebel, taking particular pride that his Eagle artists will represent six of the 11 Gold Keys from the region advancing to the national level in New York.
“What’s really impressive to me is the the depth of our results,” Nebel said. “We had more students in the competition than ever before and received more recognition than ever before. That’s what I look for … the numbers we submit and the percentage of students who are recognized.
“I know of other high school programs focusing on only a few students to drive a particular competition result. That’s not how it works at St. Thomas. Everyone participates and everyone is expected to hit a high level. You rarely see this much quality work in high school, or even in introductory college courses. And there are no predetermined limits or concepts. This is not about predictable format.”