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Detroit Students’ Creativity On Full Display In Jewelry Scholarship Competition

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DETROIT (WWJ) - In a first-of-its-kind project, some Detroit Public School students are showing off their creativity in the form of wearable works of art.

DPS is holding its first ever Jewelry Scholarship Competition, which features one-of-a-kind jewelry designed and created by students turned artists at Cass Technical High School .

Competing students have the unique opportunity to earn scholarships and have their creations juried by a distinguished panel of corporate, academic, design and communications professionals. Their works will also be prominently displayed in the storefront of Simmons and Clark Jewelers in downtown Detroit.

In an exclusive interview with WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas, students competing for the top prize said they’re thrilled to have their works in the spotlight.

“I didn’t think it was something that could happen because I’ve never taken a real art class before,” tenth grader Halima Haque said. “So, to have your piece out there is just something really exciting.”

The competition was open to high schoolers and recent graduates who were able to submit up to two pieces of wearable jewelry, created within the past year.

Student Abriana Walton shows WWJ how she created her jewelry. (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Student Abriana Walton shows WWJ how she created her jewelry. (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Tenth grader Ariel Bowman said she used nearly every skill she learned in teacher Mindy Mitchell’s art class to create her pin.

“It’s kind of unique and abstract. I got the inspiration from a fish because the end has a tail and it kind of curves,” she said. “So, what I did was I made the metal really hot and then I kind of twisted it by myself.”

The jewelry will be judged on design, creativity and craftsmanship. Prizes for the top three juried winners are scholarships of $500, $250 and $100. Tenth grader Abriana Walton said the chance to win a scholarship really up the stakes for her.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity. When she told us that there would be the prizes and the scholarships and the things that they’re actually putting into this for us, it’s really amazing,” she said.

But the students say the best part about the whole thing is that their jewelry will be on display at a Simmons and Clark Jewelers in downtown Detroit. Tenth Grader Joseph Powell said he can’t wait to see his pin under the showroom’s bright lights.

“I have never had my art in a show or anything like that so, it is all pretty exciting,” he said.

Student Joseph Powell puts the finishing touches on his jewelry. (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Student Joseph Powell puts the finishing touches on his jewelry. (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Michael Simmons, third generation owner of Simmons and Clark Jewelers, said the pieces will be available for public viewing — and voting.

“We’ll have an event here April 10th but leading up to that, starting March 31 from 9:45 a.m. till 6 p.m., we’re going to have all the jewelry of the high school students on display,” he said. “And, we’re going to have a public vote, a People’s Choice Award.”

Judges include Jennifer Gilbert – interior designer and wife of Quicken Loans Chairman and Founder Dan Gilbert; Matthew Seeger – Dean of the Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts; Linda Forte – senior vice president of business affairs for Comerica Bank;  R.J. King – editor of DBusiness Magazine; John Balardo — publisher of Hour Magazine; and Stacey Simmons – associate curator of education at The Henry Ford.

The award presentation will take place at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, April 10 at Simmons and Clark Jewelers, located at 1535 Broadway, across from the Detroit Opera House.

Michael Simmons shows off student-made jewelry on display at Simmons and Clark Jewelers in downtown Detroit. (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Michael Simmons shows off student-made jewelry on display at Simmons and Clark Jewelers in downtown Detroit. (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ Newsradio 950)

 

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