Brookfield Academy student wins national art award, will be honored in New York City

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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Since 1929, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have been recognizing names including John Lithgow, Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King and Ken Burns.

Brookfield Academy sophomore Eleanor "Ellie" Plamann will be joining that elite company.

The school had 29 students recognized in the Scholastic Art Awards this year. Ellie's digital piece that she submitted won a National Gold Award.

"It's national. She's nationally recognized for this piece of art which is pretty amazing," explained Elaine Buckley, an art instructor at Brookfield Academy. "Ellie won a Gold Key at the state level, for the state of Wisconsin, the highest honor for the digital piece. Any gold key award moved on to New York City where there was a panel of judges that looked at probably over a hundred-thousand pieces of art. That's a lot of art!"

Plamann comes from an artistic family and says she has enjoyed creating artwork for years, finally realizing her talent when she first got to high school.

"I've never really thought of it in terms of, 'Am I good at it?' It's always just been something I do," Plamann explained. "When I got to high school a year ago, it became like, this is a talent. This is something that I can do regularly as a passion."

The winning piece features a cat-like monster terrorizing a city. The cat was inspired by Plamann's own pet cat, Ginger.

"I was looking at my cat and I was like 'She's sweet. I think I should turn her into a monster and make her chase people,'" Plamann said, adding that she takes a lot of her inspiration from things she sees or feels. "I really take a lot of inspiration from architecture and then video games or shows that I watch."

Most of Plamann's work is done on an iPad in digital form. She says she enjoys the simplicity of the work and the freedom it gives her to experiment and try out different ideas.

"You don't need fifteen paintbrushes and all of this paint. You don't need a bunch of storage for all of your canvasses," Plamann explained. "It's just file. You need a tablet and a pencil and that's it and then you can create pretty much anything from there."

You also need some artistic ability, something she is not lacking. It's also something she's excited, and admittedly a little nervous, to be recognized for on the national stage.

"I'm proud that I've gotten that far and I'm also super nervous because, I did not mean to do that. I did not intent to go stand up in front of a bunch of people, looking at my work," Plamann said. "It's nice though."

A sense of pride for the student who put in hours of work, and her support system.

"I just see a lot of brightness, I really do," explained Buckley when asked about Ellie's future. "I see a lot of passion from Ellie and she's just going to grow and grow and we'll see where it takes her. To have this kind of nudge is really nice for an artist to be able to say 'Oh, I'm being recognized for something that I worked really hard on. I want to continue to push and work on that and maybe even pursue art in the future."

The award ceremony at Carnegie Hall will take place on June 9.

Here is a list of all the Brookfield Academy students that were recognized by Scholastic Art Awards-Wisconsin:

  • Justyn Anderson, Milwaukee, Honorable Mention (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Jesus Avila, Milwaukee, Honorable Mention (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Tyler Beckley, Elm Grove, Gold Key (Sculpture)
  • Laurette Blanchard, Elm Grove, Honorable Mention (Mixed Media)
  • Jacqueline Dieck, Menomonee Falls, Honorable Mention (Painting), Honorable Mention (Painting)
  • Hannah Ding, Brookfield, Gold Key (Sculpture), Gold Key (Painting), Silver Key (Painting), Silver Key (Portfolio)
  • Bowen Duan, Menomonee Falls, Silver Key (Photography)
  • Cecilia Elfelt, Brookfield, Gold Key (Drawing & Illustration), Honorable Mention (Sculpture)
  • Max Hong, Brookfield, Honorable Mention (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Jeff Huang, New Berlin, Gold Key (Sculpture), Gold Key (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Eve Janavitz, Elm Grove, Honorable Mention (Mixed Media)
  • Lucia Jensen, Brookfield, Honorable Mention (Sculpture)
  • Raya Khraisat, Franklin, Honorable Mention (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Chloe Manke, Lake Mills, Silver Key (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Xitlali Martinez, Milwaukee, Silver Key (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Eleanor Plamann, Milwaukee, Gold Key (Digital Art)
  • Emma Richardson, Wauwatosa, Silver Key (Sculpture), Silver Key (Mixed Media)
  • Aidan Rogers, Milwaukee, Honorable Mention (Photography)Mira Santo Tomas, Wauwatosa, Gold Key (Film & Animation)
  • Sarnowski, New Berlin, Gold Key (Sculpture), Silver Key (Sculpture)
  • Olivia Schaub, Menomonee Falls, Honorable Mention (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Elisabeth Schwertfeger, Elm Grove, Silver Key (Sculpture)
  • Katherine Shalyaev, Brookfield, Honorable Mention (Sculpture), Honorable Mention (Painting)
  • Yifan Wang, Menomonee Falls, Honorable Mention (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Estelle Watts, Menomonee Falls, Honorable Mention (Art Portfolio)
  • Sara Wilson, Brookfield, Honorable Mention (Sculpture)
  • Yunqi Xu, Milwaukee, Gold Key (Fashion)
  • Cynthia Yu, Menomonee Falls, Gold Key (Drawing and Illustration)
  • Anneke Zaiser, Elm Grove, Gold Key (Printmaking), Honorable Mention (Printmaking)
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