Karen Rudd – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Every year the LRHS art department offers $200 gift certificates for the Ringling College of Art and Design.

Sophomore Gee Basilone was selected as one of the winners for 2017.

rudd pix gee basilone
Ringling College recognzied Gee Basilone’s work

“I truly don’t know how I won,” Basilone confessed.

Fellow sophomore Andy Zimmerman also took home a prize.

Looking back to the day, Zimmerman recalled, “I remember when I was told I was getting the scholarship. I called my mom and spun in circles out of excitement.”

The winners have the choice between taking a summer studio class or using the money for other Ringling classes.

According to art teacher Abby Kolesa, the winners are chosen based on their behavior and work. “We chose people definitely art college bound,” Kolesa said.

The teachers also aim to pick students wishing to join Advanced Placement (AP) art classes or upperclassmen. Students who show respect, work hard, and show potential for growth are also considered.

The overall selection is to introduce students to Ringling.

The summer studio offers a variety of classes ranging from traditional art, such as painting and drawing, to digital art, like game designing and animation. Classes typically last for one to two weeks and meet from Monday to Friday.

“I picked a portfolio class because it was more advanced, and we were free to work with any size and medium,” Basilone explained.

The classes offered give students helpful skills, such as creating artwork for their future portfolios.

“I think the number one thing I took away from the class was to focus on composition, observational studies and to continue to work hard, as cheesy as that sounds,” Zimmerman reflected.

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Caiti Henning’s artwork was a Ringling winner

Basilone concluded, “The experience was lovely because there weren’t many people in the portfolio class that I took, so I got a lot of one on one time with my instructor.”

Senior Caiti Henning took a different approach with her win. Henning put the money towards her Ringling precollege fund. Ringling’s precollege takes place over the span of a month with students living on campus and taking classes.

Henning reflected on her experience, “I learnt so much about art and met so many amazing and dedicated artists.”

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