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Woodbury student wins national art award

Woodbury High School senior Kyra Anderson has received a National Scholastic Art Award for her photography. Anderson will travel to New York City June 1 for an award ceremony at Carnegie Hall. Anderson received a silver medal.1 / 2
Kyra Anderson's award-winning photo depicts her grandfather riding on a train.2 / 2

When Woodbury High Schoolsenior Kyra Anderson first took a photograph of her grandfather riding the train in Colorado, she never anticipated how far it would take her.

Anderson will be traveling to New York City June 1 for an awards presentation at Carnegie Hall for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Anderson's photograph, which won a silver medal, qualified for the National Scholastic Art Award after having received a Gold Key Award as part of the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards earlier this year.

"I never realized this picture would get me so far in life and take me to New York City," she said.

Anderson's photograph was selected out of a total of 13,000 Gold Key Award recipients throughout the country.

An eye for photography

Anderson began working in photography in 2008 when she asked for a digital camera for Christmas.

Since that time, she has graduated from a small point-and-shoot to a more professional SLR camera.

Anderson said she was drawn to photography because it allowed her to express herself artistically.

"I can't draw or paint, but I have an artistic view so I wanted to express my art in a different way," she said. "I really like that something ordinary and plain can turn into something extraordinary and incredible."

Anderson took her award-winning photograph of her grandfather while she was riding on the train with him in Colorado.

She and her grandparents were the only ones in the car, and the way the seats were positioned really caught her eye.

Anderson sat herself on the floor of the train and snapped a photo of her grandfather.

"It was an everyday object with a changed perspective on the view," she said. "I like how something so plain and simple can be hugely changed."

Anderson's photograph, "End of the Journey," had an underlying meaning as well since it symbolized her grandfather's life.

"My grandpa, he's not doing so well and his health is pretty poor," she said. "The photography is kind of symbolizing that my grandpa is coming to the end of his final destination.

"It's pretty cool how the title put more life back in my grandpa."

Nationals in New York

Anderson found out about her national award on March 15 when she logged into her Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards account, which all award recipients were asked to do, and saw a congratulations message.

"At first I was like, 'No way, is this for everyone?' So I kind of just blew it off," she said. "I had to read it a few times to actually understand that they were inviting me to New York - I was speechless, basically."

During the ceremony on June 1 at Carnegie Hall, Anderson will be presented with her medal.

"I graduate two days later, so I'll be pretty much on cloud nine that whole week."

Anderson is also being asked to film a video of her explaining her artwork that will then be shown during the ceremony in New York.

Those students who received Gold Medal Awards will have their artwork displayed during the month of June.

Anderson said she plans to major in digital communications in college and continue photography as a hobby rather than a career.

"I like photography so much that I don't want it to be forced upon me," she said. "When people tell me to take pictures of things, it just doesn't feel right because it's not my idea, it's more theirs."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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