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Murphy awarded Jean Lake Scholarship

If Cherese Murphy was challenged with doing abstract art, she would be out of her element. Still, when it comes to portrait art, she is at her best.

The talented Charles Henderson High School senior was recognized this week for her artistic excellence with the 2009 Troy Arts Council Jean Lake Scholarship.

“I’m excited to receive the award and so appreciative of it and very honored,” Murphy said. “Any of the others that competed for the scholarship could have gotten it. They are all good artists, and I am honored.”

Murphy is a fourth-year art student at CHHS and also an advanced placement art student, whose favorite medium is drawing.

“I especially like doing portraits,” she said. “It’s challenging to bring out a person’s expression. I do that mostly with shadows. The hardest mood to capture is sadness because there are so many different degrees of sadness. Crying is the most difficult because the shadowing of tears is so hard. Portraits are my favorite thing to draw and for me, they’re the easiest.”

Landscapes are also a favorite subject for Murphy, especially tropical scenes and beaches.

“You can do a lot with those landscapes in pencil,” she said. “I just love drawing, and I plan to attend Troy University and major in art education. I would like to teach elementary school art because that’s where my interest in art developed. I’m looking forward to art being a part of what I do as a career.”

CHHS art teacher Pam Smith said Murphy has been one of her star students since she was a freshman.

“Cherese has won all kinds of awards for her artwork on the high school level,” Smith said. “And the pieces that she submitted for judging for the Jean Lake Scholarship were outstanding.”

The scholarship winner receives a $2,000-scholarship over a two-year period.

Some of the artwork that Murphy submitted for judging for the Jean Lake Scholarship will be included in her AP portfolio that will be scored for college credit.