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By Jana Hill
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

Facing it

Young artist uses imagery to process the era


Last updated 3/4/2021 at 7:49pm

Photo courtesy of Jangwoo Lee

Susanna Lee, 15, Lynwood High School ninth-grader and Schack Art Center Scholastic Gold Key winner.

Six faces: most smiling, one masked.

"Face Them All," is an art piece displayed at Schack Art Center, created by Edmonds School District freshman Susanna Lee. The Lynnwood High School student is 15 and already knows she wants her art to someday be a job.

The colored pencil drawing is a depiction of floating faces, looking different directions. Some have joyful smiles and the one the bottom is wearing a protective mask, familiar to all of us since the pandemic began.

Lee said the drawing "represents us all. Like when we're going through this pandemic. And we don't know how the future is going to be."

Lee and other artistic youth in the Snohomish County area had work displayed at Schack Art Center, at 2921 Hoyt Ave. in Everett through Feb. 28

She started as an artist at age 11 and credits a single class at J. Art in Lynnwood. She plans to be an animator someday, naming animator Jill Culton as a key mentor. Culton was the storyboard animator for movies such as Toy Story and other Pixar movies. The storyboard animator sets the story in a visual outline of sorts, devising plot-lines through cartooning, for animated movies.

The competition is one way she can get her work out and seen.

"I wanted my art to be known," she said of her choice to enter the Scholastic competition.

The six faces in her drawing are self portraits, all of the artist's own face. Three are smiling happily, one is an understated smile, one is thoughtful with no smile and one has closed eyes, and half of the face covered with a protective mask. An image that is all-too-familiar in the pandemic era.

"The reason why the masked face's eyes are closed is because it shows that we don't know our future (after covid). Once the future comes our eyes will open," she said. The future faces are a mix of how the coming era will be. "Some people will be filled with joy. Some will be filled with sorrow. They're the faces of our future."

Most of the faces are smilling because "once this pandemic is over the majority of people will be filled with delight and hope."

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards contest runs nationwide and draws in artists from the Mill Creek area and beyond. The work is exhibited every year, with regional winners from the Snohomish County area, and an award ceremony.

The art contest features a display of work that is listed here:

Viewing the art

Schack Art Center in Everett hosts the contest featuring the artwork from Snohomish County teens. Artwork was displayed through Feb. 28 in the Mezzanine Gallery. Hours of operation are here:

Masks and social distancing protocols are required, but the gallery is open to the public.

Other artists from area schools are listed here:


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