Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Education

June 12, 2014

Designing a creative future

Allen graduates among top art students in state

He was the Andover High School student always armed with a paintbrush or some other art tool, ready to complete his next large-scale oil paintings.

Josh Allen graduated Monday as one of the top high school art students in the state. The 18-year-old won numerous awards over his high school career — including six gold keys, similar to medals, at the Museum of Fine Arts Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Four of the keys were for his painting, with one each for drawing and his overall portfolio of seven pieces.

“I was extremely surprised that I received the number of accolades that I did. I later found out that I received the most gold keys in the state of Massachusetts,” Allen commented.

Andover High art teacher Ed Parker said his teaching experience with Allen was “very much a give-and-take discussion,” which at times they both learned from. Parker said he will miss having Allen in his classroom.

“Josh is perhaps one of most intuitively creative students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching, and that includes students on the college level,” Parker said in an email.

“Innately curious, he has consistently been open to the possibilities of new creative discoveries. That sense of discovery and risk taking is essential to the creative process and I expect will serve Josh well as he continues to grow in whatever creative endeavor he decides to pursue.”

Fellow AHS art teacher Dolores Dunning echoed Parker’s praise, noting Allen’s still-life piece that won the 2013 Congressional Art Competition for the region last year hung for many months in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

“Josh Allen’s paintings and drawings are truly exceptional for someone so young,” Dunning said in an email.

Allen will continue his artistic pursuits in the fall at Rhode Island School of Design. As he wrapped up his high school career this week, the son of Richard and Patricia Allen shared a glimpse of himself and his time at Andover High with The Townsman.

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