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Student Artwork Gains State and National Attention


Dalia Chairez sits at a table in an art room.

When Dalia Chairez ’24 saw how the light was hitting the wall behind her father, Julian, she knew she had to capture it. When the photo earned a Gold Key at both the state and national Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, she was surprised. “I wasn’t expecting to win at all, but I am really proud of this piece because it has this sort of moodiness to it that I really like,” she said.

Irene Gay poses for a photo near the Milwaukee River and Hoan Bridge.

In addition to Chairez, Irene Gay ’21 earned a national Gold Key in writing for her poem, “Sometimes We See Ourselves.” She also earned a national Silver Key for her flash fiction short story, “Mary, by Mary.”


Maddy Megal poses for a photo near the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Gregory Smith

Two students were chosen to represent University School of Milwaukee in an exhibit at Museum of Wisconsin Art: Madeleine Megal ’21 and Gregory Smith ’22. The exhibit was titled “Myself When I Am Real: A Teen Perspective on Identity” and included work from 12 area high schools. Students were asked to create art that addresses the theme of identity and the students’ unique takes on the relationship between art, place, and character.

Generosity on Display

USM visual arts teachers pose for a photo with the sculpture installations.

Students created unique garden sculptures, which were auctioned off in May, generating $1,540. All proceeds benefitted Artists Working in Education, a local non-profit. Many thanks to the Visual Arts faculty Christina Dresang, Sarah Markwald, Jessica Michels, and Priscilla Woods, who spearheaded the project.

Heavy Medal Musicians

A stock photo of sheet music.

Seventeen students competed in the Wisconsin School Music Association’s State Solo and Ensemble Festival in May, earning either a gold, silver, or bronze medal. To qualify for state, students had to earn a “starred first” rating in Class A, the most difficult music, at the district level.

  • Arts