Fossil congratulates Scholastic Art Award winners


Nikki Giard

Nikki Giard’s set of “Rainbow Vases,” which won a National Gold Medal.

Natalie Anderson, Staff Writer

This year, Fossil Ridge High School is proud to congratulate three seniors, Nikki Giard, Cameron Carcasson, and Maddy Coy for winning Scholastic Art Awards. 

Within the state, all three were awarded first place Gold Key awards. However, Giard went on to win a gold medal at the National level with her set of “Rainbow Vases.” She is the only student in Poudre School District to win a national award this year. 

One of Giard’s most challenging aspects of her art was belief. “I didn’t believe in myself at the beginning,” Giard said. “I didn’t even want to submit [the vases] for awards. I didn’t know who would like them.”

Giard’s vases are pottery that she first had to glaze and then paint over with alcohol inks. Her only inspiration was that she wanted the vases to be colorful and to do something with them that could not be done with normal glaze. 

By winning this award, “It taught me to try new things and believe in myself,” Giard said. 

The other two students, Carcasson and Coy, were both awarded the Gold Key award, the highest award possible to win at a regional level, for drawing and illustration.

Carcasson’s artwork was titled “Mental Mansion.” He said that it started as a, “mind palace type thing.” He then explains, “Then, I decided to develop it into a full piece. But it’s kind of just the way my brain is organized and the chaotic intricacies and little corners and weird things.” 

The inspiration for Coy’s artwork came from her main focus for her art portfolio of how light and optical lenses can alter the world. Her piece was titled “Correcting One’s Sight.” 

Coy said that, “I used the glasses as an example in my artwork to show how the world is warped through the lens of the glasses.”

Along with winning a Gold Key award, both Carcasson and Coy had the opportunity to create a mask to be featured in the Fort Collins Museum of Art’s annual mask exhibit. The artists have creative freedom over their mask which will later be auctioned off as part of a fundraiser for museum programs. 

Carcasson said that the inspiration for his mask was, “the relationship between humanity and technology, and how humans create technology but then [it] turns around and manipulates humans too.”

Coy said she was, “inspired by the ‘save the bees’ campaign. I thought creating a hive and dripping honey could express a lot of emotion and create a cool visual.”

For all three of the seniors, it is the first time they have won an award for their artwork. For Carcasson, winning this award made him realize that, “Art can actually be a career and be a real thing, like commissions and awards. Art is a real thing and you can pursue it, it’s not just a hobby.”