St Hugh's, CASE win mural design competition

BY KIMONE THOMPSON
Associate editor - Features
thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 27, 2018

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St Hugh's High School sixth-former Sabrina Johnson went to her 1:00 pm Information Technology exam on a high on Tuesday.

An hour and a half earlier she was named winner in the secondary school category of the Forestry Department's 80th Anniversary Mural Competition, which will earn her the honour of having her art painted on the wall at the agency's entrance on Grove Road in Constant Spring Gardens, St Andrew.

She shares the honour with April Sherwood, a student of College of Arts, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland, who topped the tertiary category.

Johnson was visibly shaken when the announcement was made and she rose to receive her prizes — an HP laptop, US$250, a trophy, certificates of placement and participation, and gift baskets. She later told the Jamaica Observer that she was in shock because, based on the arrangement of the pieces on display, she believed she was in third position.

“They tricked me!” she said. “When I realised that I was first and they called my name, I couldn't get up. I was in shock.”

Johnson, 17, said there were other factors that led her to belief she would not have come out on top. For one, she said when she went to drop her entry off at the Forestry Department office in Coley, St Thomas, the doors were closed and it was raining cats and dogs.

“So I went home, but I told myself that I couldn't let my hard work go to waste so I took a picture of it with my phone, sent it to my tablet and submitted it by email,” she told Career & Education.

Also, she said, she didn't believe the piece, titled Seeping A community thing and reflecting the theme 'Eighty years of growth: Safeguarding the future' was her best work.

“I draw a lot but that wasn't my best work; I started over so many times,” she said, adding that she told her mom she thought she was only going to receive a certificate of participation.

In addition to validating her talent and lifting her spirit, the 17-year-old said the win has cemented so many lessons for her.

“Be determined. Don't tell yourself you can't. Just do your best and that best might just be better than everybody else's,” she said.

As for the exam, she declared that it was a breeze which the class got through within half an hour.

“The win made me feel very confident going into the exam. My head was swollen,” she said, using the vernacular meaning she was full of pride. “Everything was just flowing my way all day.”

In Sherwood's case, the piece used the theme as its name — Closed Broadleaf forests: Precious but threatened. She received identical prizes to Johnson.

Her mother Jeanette Thomas, who spoke with Career & Education on her daughter's behalf, said the CASE business student was very excited about the win and is contemplating taking art further.

In the secondary school category of the mural competition, J'Nelle Bailey of Immaculate Conception High took second place, while Tajani Scott of Campion College was third. In addition to the certificates and gift baskets they each received, Bailey took home an Alcatel tablet while Scott received a Samsung J5 smartphone.

In the tertiary category Nia Scarlett of the University of Technology, Jamaica placed second, while Davia Morris of Garmex Academy took third place. Their prizes were similar to those presented in the secondary school category.

The technological devices were sponsored by the Universal Service Fund, the cash provided by BH Paints, and the gift baskets were couretsy of LASCO Distributors.

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