Rebecca Gao: Astounding Artist


Rebecca Gao

"Shelly" Gao's scratchboard of a cat that was awarded the Gold Key and an American Vision nomination

Olive D. '19, Editor

“ [Art is] something that encourages and celebrates people’s differences and personalities” said senior, Rebecca Gao. Art has always been something she’s been interested in since she was young and Gao says her grandfather is very good at art; she believes a lot of her inspiration to continue to pursue in art is thanks to him.  

“I didn’t really have guidance on my art before [ taking art classes at Padua] or anyone to give me feedback and criticism on it” Gao said. Since she has been taking classes at Padua she has improved on her skills and the technical aspect. For example,  her drawings and paintings now look more proportional. “It really helps to have a teacher that is honest with what you can improve and give ways on how to improve it” said Gao.

[Art is] something that encourages and celebrates people’s differences and personalities”

— Rebecca Gao '19

This year Gao entered into the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a program that “recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated” The competition allowed the students to draw anything they pleased with the only restriction to create something original and if they were using a reference photo the artist needed to have taken the photo themselves.

Rebecca Gao
“Sunday Morning”, Gao’s scratchboard of a eating room that was awarded a Silver key

Mrs. Vitollo, Gao’s art teacher is someone who inspires her to put her work into competitions. Rebecca made two scratchboards, a type of art which involves an artist engraving their drawing into a blackened board to scratch off the blackened parts to make white lines of drawing, and one oil painting. Gao entered the three pieces of art: “Shelly” (a scratchboard), “Sunday Morning” (a scratchboard), and “Aya” (oil painting).

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have four different types of regional awards: Gold key (the best works submitted), Silver key (Stand-out works submitted that demonstrate exceptional ability), Honorable mention (Accomplished works submitted to local programs showing great skill and potential), and American Visions & Voices Nominees (Five works, from across all categories and grades, are selected from those earning Gold Keys as the “Best-of-Show”).

Gao was awarded the Gold key for “Shelly”, her scratchboard of a cat, which was also nominated for the American vision award. Additionally, she got a Silver key award for “Sunday Morning” , a scratchboard of a room, and her oil painting “Aya” of her friend senior, Kristen (Aya) Geary.

In college Gao doesn’t plan on majoring in art but is thinking about taking it as a minor or just taking a few classes. Gao said, “I really enjoy art but I also invest a lot of effort and time into whatever I’m working on.”