Senior Lauren Wyman was one of three Wilton High School students to receive Scholastic Art Awards from the Connecticut Art Education Association in its 2016 juried show.

During the Connecticut Regional Awards Celebration on Jan. 31, Lauren received the Gold Key Award, one of the top drawing awards, for her pencil drawing of refugees. She also received the American Vision Award.

Lauren said she learned of her Gold Key and American Vision award wins via email one night and “wasn’t expecting it.”

“I was excited and my mom was just through the roof,” she said. “It was unexpected, but really amazing.”

At the awards celebration, Lauren said, she looked at the other student artists’ work and was amazed by the talent she saw.

“It was incredible how talented people are, and it was such an honor to be recognized among them,” she said. “It was so much fun and really awesome.”

Lauren said her pencil drawing took her about a month of on-and-off work to complete.

“I get bored with pieces easily, so I’ll do a little bit, move it to the side, work on my next piece, and then jump back and forth,” she said.

Lauren said she created her award-winning piece using photographic references. For example, she used a photograph of a boy as a reference for the face and a hand reference for the boy’s hand.

“I use pictures for different things and what I want the picture to look like and I just mush it all together into one,” she said. “It was a lot of fun to do.”

Lauren said art has always been a hobby of hers, but she began taking it more seriously in high school.

“This year, I’m in AP Art and we’re experimenting with different mediums, so I’m working on painting, printmaking and I have done sculpture,” said Lauren, whose favorite types of art involve charcoal, pastels and color pencils.

Lauren said Rusty Hurd, head of the high school’s art department, has been urging her to take part in more exhibitions and submit her art this year, which has resulted in her work being recognized on more than one occasion.

Not only did Lauren win awards from the Connecticut Art Education Association but she also won The Greens at Cannondale’s annual holiday greeting card contest and received a $1,000 scholarship.

Lauren and other Gold Key recipients will have their artwork submitted digitally to the national level Scholastic Art Awards and a national jury will choose works for the national show in June.

The other two Wiltonians recognized by the Connecticut Art Education Association were Sarah Perry and Elizabeth Yoon, and all three of their artworks were displayed at the University of Connecticut’s Hartford Art School from Jan. 17 to Feb. 6.

In college, Lauren said, she would “at least like to minor in art.”

To learn more about the Connecticut Art Education Association, visit ctarteducation.net.