Student’s Cornell Pic Wins Regional Art Competition


Maggie Meister

Maggie Meister’s photograph SEEING DOUBLE won a gold medal at the Regional Scholastic Art Competition.

Abby Wexler, Staff Writer

When Maggie Meister was in the Cornell Library this past summer taking a picture of her friend for her assignment, little did she know what would come of it. She was simply completing an assignment for her Cornell University Summer Program and taking a picture of her friend reading a book. What was to come was a national award winning photograph.

Meister has always had a passion for art. Since elementary school, art was always her favorite subject in all aspects; she constantly looked forward to going to that class. Her parents have always been involved in the art industry. Her mom, Robin Selden, is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Marcia Selden Catering Company. Her father, Michael Meister, is the Director of Exhibition Design at the American Museum of Natural History. Art clearly runs in her family.

The summer of her sophomore year, Meister had the privilege of attending a three week summer program at Cornell University. The program entailed a class focused on photography, drawing, and printmaking. For her final project, Meister took a picture of her friend reading a book in the beautiful, vibrant Cornell Library.

As most art students did, Meister decided to submit that specific photo to her Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. The competition is for teens in grades 7-12 to show off their art, displayed in 29 different categories. For the 2019 year, the competition received 340,000 submissions of work. Many people first place at the regional level and can receive Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Voices and Vision Nominations. Three Stamford High students received keys for their work submitted at the regional level: Meister won a Gold Key for her photograph, Dechante Clarke won a Gold Key for drawing and illustration, and Khalil Briscoe won a Silver Key for Digital Art. Students who receive a Gold Key at the regional level are automatically entered into the national competition. The national awards consist of Gold Medals, Silver Medals, American Visions and Voices Medal, Gold Medal and Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolios, and Special Achievement Awards.

At the national level, Meister was awarded a Silver Medal for her photograph titled, “Seeing Double.” The award is extremely prestigious, with Meister being the one student representing Stamford High School at the national level. It is an especially big honor after submitting work in previous years and only placing at the regional level for honorable mention, showing her immense improvement. Meister shared, “I am so honored to have won a national medal for this competition. It means a lot to me as I’ve worked so hard to improve, and this shows that I’m doing something right! Not only is this an incredible honor – it also pushes me to produce more art.”

Alongside her art, Meister is in all honors and AP classes, the co-president of the class of 2020, a varsity tennis player, and has won several other awards for her art. She hopes to pursue art in some aspect in the future, in both her professional and recreational career. As for the near future, she said, “I would love to go to college for advertising and commercial design.” Regarding her photography career, she said, “I might minor in photography.”