Josh Byrne, a Central High School senior, has won a Silver Medal at the 2013 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. His submission, “Raptorial Arms,” consisted of various drawings of the legs of a praying mantis and other insects. Byrne says he “would like to do for insects what John James Audubon did for birds.” He appreciates the ease with which insects can be studied. “I love the way they look,” said Byrne. “They were made for art.”
Currently, wire is one of his favorite mediums and he has done wire scuptures of insects and wildlife ranging from a couple of inches long to a velociraptor made of aluminum, copper and black copper which is 6′ wide by 3′ tall. In the photo, he is working on an eagle made from aluminum can pop tops and wire. The velociraptor, along with many more works by Byrne, is on display at Quad City Arts in Rock Island.
This year 230,000 works of art and writing were submitted to be judged by a panel of artistic and literary professionals. Only the top 1% of students who submitted their work received an award. Winners are being recognized at an award ceremony on May 31, 2013 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Byrne will attend Iowa State University this fall o study biological illustration.