Student work wins gold medal

Isabel Saldivar awarded for photography


Isabel Saldivar

Isabel Saldivar’s award winning photo titled “Chlorine” in bathtub series.

Tyler Luker, Co-Editor and Sports Editor

     Out of 340,000 applicants in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards this past summer, there were 1,149 Gold Medal award winners and senior Isabel Saldivar was one of only 155 people that came away with a Gold Medal for her photography.

     “After I found out Isabel won, I wasn’t surprised,” AP Art teacher Adriana Martinez said. “It was a strong piece because of its appeal to controversy.”

     The photo features Saldivar holding yellow flowers in a bathtub filled with water and milk and is named “Chlorine,” after the song “Chlorine” by Twenty-One Pilots. 

     “The piece was inspired by my desire to experiment more with the element of water,” Saldivar said. “I’ve been doing a bathtub photo series since sophomore year.”

     Saldivar was invited to go to New York City in June to accept her gold medal and to see her artwork being displayed in a gallery outside New York University and on a slideshow at Carnegie Hall.

     “It was an unrealistic experience,” Saldivar said. “I was proud of myself and how I was able to represent Plano.”

     Saldivar has been creating body art since middle school, and her interest in it stemmed from her love for pop culture.

     “I started doing it because it felt cool to portray something else,” Saldivar said. “I view it as another form of abstract art, my body just happens to be the canvas.”

     As a student in Martinez’s class last year, Saldivar showed that she was a hard worker and was willing to do what it takes to improve.

     “Isabel is always working to get better,” Martinez said. “She’s aware of her abilities and takes them further by constantly exploring new ways to express herself.”

     Ricardo Saldivar, her father, commends her level of commitment she has towards body painting.

     “She is very dedicated,” Ricardo Saldivar said. “She’ll come down for dinner with a face like a monster and barely be able to open her mouth before going back upstairs and finishing up.”

     Martinez thinks the success Saldivar has had will lead to future students being inspired. 

     “The impact of Isabel winning a gold medal is major for the school,” Martinez said. “It brings more awareness to the talent in the visual arts department.”

     Martinez believes Saldivar’s work will continue to improve and that she will continue to grow as an artist.

     “I’m excited to see where her art takes her,” Martinez said. “This is just the beginning.”