Jake Barnhart’s and Caroline Dorion’s piece on display at the Bridgeport Art Center on Sunday, March 13. (Photo courtesy of Jake Barnhart)
Jake Barnhart’s and Caroline Dorion’s piece on display at the Bridgeport Art Center on Sunday, March 13.

Photo courtesy of Jake Barnhart

Art students write – or draw – their own futures

April 4, 2022

Six York senior artists received, collectively, over one million dollars in art scholarship money put toward their post high school education. Jake Barnhart, Caroline Dorion, Ava Eisa, Abby LaMorte, Nikita Sidoryk and Emma Wheatland were all seniors featured in the Northern Regional Exhibition of the Illinois High School Art Exhibition. 

“I received scholarship offers from a variety of different art schools including but not limited to art schools from Kansas City, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago,” senior artist Ava Eisa said. “The artwork that was chosen for display from my portfolio was a piece I titled ‘insecurity.’ The piece depicts someone drawn with graphite pencils with a yellow tape measure wrapped tightly around their waist. I intended for this piece to represent one’s struggle with body image and or body insecurity as a teenager or really as any member of the general population.”

The scholarships awarded to the students not only provides them with wonderful opportunities to further their art education, but also shows acknowledgement for the pieces that the artists believe so deeply in. Each piece from the seniors’ portfolio had a particular meaning to the artist.

“My piece, ‘Fear-Mongering’ is a piece about fear mongering in the media during the pandemic and how it has affected the younger generations’ view on the future and how it will play out,” senior artist Jake Barnhart said. “I used a collage of different newspaper clippings for the background and I rendered a portrait of my coworker Bella Dugo, a sophomore at Willowbrook, wearing a mask and looking up at the different headlines that all invoke a feeling of fear and uncertainty. I was not at all expecting this piece to be my best from first semester.”

Barnhart won eight scholarships to various schools around the midwest for graphic design. Senior artist Caroline Dorion received $520,000 in art scholarships from a variety of art and design schools. She was one of the Top 20 Scholarship Offer Recipients, she received the SSE award. She was placed second for the most money in scholarships at the exhibition. 

“I have loved every second of being in art classes at York,” Dorion said. “I am incredibly proud of all the work I have created and the awards that I have won. I have had some amazing teachers and opportunities open to me due to being an art student at York.” 

Eisa’s, Barnhart’s and Dorion’s work was displayed at the IHSAE awards ceremony at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago on Sunday, March 13. Patrick Baker, District Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator, expressed his pride in all of the art students that were featured in the exhibition. 

“Our students are so talented,” Baker said. “And not just the ones who already consider themselves artists. Every year, we get students who would not have considered themselves artists and we watch them blossom and find artistic abilities they did not know they had. For me, this reinforces my belief that everyone is an artist!”

These students have expressed their gratitude for York’s art programs for helping them to these opportunities.

“I think that my experiences as an art student at York have prepared me for this opportunity,” Barnhart said. “Through the rigor of AP Drawing, I have been able to improve my skills immensely. Before this class, it was inconceivable that I would be awarded with scholarships and a spot in a statewide art show.”


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