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NFM Academy for the Arts students take top local, state honors for digital art

By Staff | May 15, 2012

Three students from North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts have won top honors in digital design at both the local and state level.

The “Best in Show” in the Junior Thespians Design Competition for the State of Florida was won by Academy student and Cape Coral resident Cassidee Kelley. Kylie Kirkland of North Fort Myers won in the 2nd Annual Digital Lee competition, through Lee County Schools, and most recently, Nick Lamoureux, won first place in the The Florida Alliance for Arts 2012 Digital Media Challenge in the 2D (digitally modified) category. He is a resident of North Fort Myers.

“We are very proud of the students winning top honors in digital design at both the local and state level,” said Academy for the Arts Principal Dr. Douglas Santini. “Mrs. Sue Sommers, our digital design teacher, has done an outstanding job with these students. Anytime you are best in the state it is a great honor.”

“This is the digital age – especially of graphics and design,” said Academy teacher Sue Sommer. She said she was extremely proud of all of the students, both who won and who entered the various competitions.

Sommer talked about the different competitions and her class winners.

Nick Lamoureux, an eighth-grader at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, captured the 2D (digitally modified) category in The Florida Alliance for Arts 2012 Digital Media Challenge. His entry was entitled “Soccer.”

“He received first place. For this state event we sent 10 very different things. It’s basically where they are working with Photoshop elements. His was different, eye-catching,” said Sommer. “I think his process of creating the image, the way he selected unique and how skillful he is in his technique was why he placed first.”

“I was on my computer and I was going through pictures of a soccer game we played in and found one of myself and thought it would be cool to edit that,” Lamoureux said. “It’s not one of our school projects, so I thought I would mess around with it on my own and I thought it turned out looking amazing.”

Concerning Sommer, he said, “She’s a very nice lady; she’s the one who really brought me into this type of education. I didn’t know I would win out of the whole state of Florida, so I was really happy when I found out.”

He said his main goal is to become an athlete, but his back-up would be digital design. His mother teaches at Mariner High School, Sommer added.

The “Best in Show” is the top state honor in the Junior Thespians Design Competition won by Academy student, Kelley.

“She got a Super Superior at regionals, the best you can get for Publicity Design Category,” said Sommer.

“We were all sitting in Cracker Barrel, and Ms. Robben told me I won Super Superior for Costume Design and Best of Show for my publicity category. I started crying and hugging everybody,” said Kelley.

There was a long list of items she created.

“My favorite is probably the rack card, and the whole general design, such as the color scheme,” she said. “It took me over two weeks. I stayed late at school, and worked at home. It was a lot of work but the end result was definitely worth it.”

For Kirkland, her project for the 2nd Annual Digital Lee was called “Express Yourself.”

“It was a project that you have to pay attention to directions, it’s not something you can just throw together,” said Kirkland. “In the background you needed to think what you think means the most to you, what could sum up your life.”

She said she chose images that depicted “living life, family and friends – they are all of what you really need. Also, you were supposed to describe yourself best. I was excited I won.”

She said it took a lot of time to do.

“I really put time into it, stayed after school,” she said. “Ms. Sommer helped me so much, so that I knew what I was doing, really helped me.”

“This is the first year they allowed middle schools to be a part of Digital Lee,” Sommer said.

“The student’s talents are incredible,” she said of all the winners.