Participating in the yearly Scholastic Art and Writing competition, tenth-grader Ellie Bodor placed at the national level of the art segment for her wire sculpture piece titled “Extraterrestrial Leviathan.” The sculpture effectively won the young artist a gold medal for her entry.
Bodor’s concept of the “Extraterrestrial Leviathan” arose from her infatuation with science fiction. “It’s an original character, a concept I had in mind. The original form was really sloppy so I actually took it apart and reworked it. I consume a lot of science fiction and I like thinking about alien planets and just conceptualizing life forms that might be there,” Bodor said.
Bodor has been working in her preferred medium of wire sculptures for seven years. Her introduction into wire sculptures was completely coincidental, seeing as Bodor stumbled across the art form one day while searching for something to keep her entertained at home. “I was at my house and my mom had some wire in her hobby room and I had some pliers so I started making a spider. At the time, I was really into spiders. It just kind of went from there, I made different things. I started just using silver and this pale gold but then I branched out into colored wire and it was good choice, good decision,” Bodor said.
In Scholastic Art and Writing, participating pieces can win gold keys, silver keys or honorable mentions. After notifying Bodor that her piece qualified for a gold piece regionally, the “Extraterrestrial Leviathan” was displayed in the Ringling Museum along with other pieces that placed for the keys or honorable mentions. Upon receiving the gold key, her piece continued onto the national level of judging. In New York City, a panel of prominent artists, among others, reviewed all the golden key winners to determine who qualified for a gold or silver National Medal. Other pieces received special recognition, such as the American Visionary award, which Bodor’s piece was nominated for but did not win.
“I think entering in a national competition, such as Scholastics, pushes the students to do more things than they may have done without the competition. It gives them an idea how they compare to other people in the nation, if they want to pursue art as a career and if they get any awards that helps with their resume. I think it’s all around a win-win situation,” art teacher, Lisa Wentz said.
Since Bodor’s piece placed nationally, Scholastic retains the artwork for up to two years and during that time period it will be displayed in a multi-city exhibition called Art.Write.Now.Tour. The traveling exhibit passes through the United States and remains in Washington, D.C for a one year-long display.
Bodor hopes to continue with her wire sculptures as a lifelong hobby and, despite having nothing set in stone, hopes to enter the science field as an adult.