The artwork of 15 New Albany High School students will be featured in the New Albany Student Showcase, which opens from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 1 at Hayley Gallery, 270 E. Main St.

The artwork of 15 New Albany High School students will be featured in the New Albany Student Showcase, which opens from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 1 at Hayley Gallery, 270 E. Main St.

Most of the pieces recently were judged as part of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards open to students in grades seven through 12.

The central Ohio regional competition is held at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

"The students had tough competition for this show," said Juliette Montague, an art teacher at New Albany High School. "Out of 944 entries, only 70 works (the top 25 percent) received Gold Key status and out of those Gold Key recipients, only five works were chosen to receive the American Visions Award (or best of show)."

The regional art competition has three levels of awards: Gold Key, the highest level, which encompasses the 7 to 10 percent of all regional submissions that move on to the national-level competition; Silver Key, which is given to 10 to 15 percent of all submissions; and honorable mention, which recognizes 15 to 20 percent of the students who have "artistic potential," according to the competition website.

Montague said New Albany High School students received two Gold Keys, 12 Silver Keys and 14 honorable mentions.

Students may submit more than one work to the competition and some New Albany students received multiple awards, according to the competition website.

Senior Sayoko Ariga received two Gold Keys, eight Silver Keys and an honorable mention, and junior Brittany Bowman and senior Rebecca Brown each received two honorable mentions.

Juniors Brynna Heaton and Anna Wolfe and seniors Isabella Silveira and Abigail Skowron each won Silver Key awards.

Juniors Chrissy Anderson, Maya Dakel, Renee Doran, Ellie Fireman, John Guthrie, Heaton, Meagan O'Rourke and Lina Sasaki and seniors Abby Fox and Zolie Horvath each received an honorable mention.

One of Ariga's pieces was chosen as an American Visions Award nominee for best of show.

Ariga, 18, said she originally is from Japan and moved between Canada, Nebraska and Michigan before settling in New Albany when she was in fifth grade.

She said she has painted and drawn most of her life.

"Art is more natural to me," Ariga said. "I actually moved a lot from city to city and had trouble having friends because I always was in a new school system. I like to draw and paint, to be by myself instead of playing sports and stuff. I guess I'm an introverted person."

Ariga said she uses graphite when drawing and oil when painting.

"I like oil more than acrylic because it dries slower, so you can blend the paint on the canvas," she said.

She said she enjoys drawing human figures, which is what is featured in her best of show piece called Elegance. Ariga said she wanted to portray mankind's absolute power and domination over the food chain, so she drew a man next to a zebra with a lion's face in the background.

She said the piece represents how man treats animals as the head of the food chain.

Ariga's work will hang in Hayley Gallery through Feb. 10 with that of fellow contest honorees Bowman, Brown, Dakel, Doran, Fireman, Fox, Guthrie, Horvath, O'Rourke, Sasaki and Silveira, as well as seniors Kayla Morlan, Alison Schaffir and Mahek Shah.

Hayley Deeter, owner of Hayley Gallery, said this is the first time students have shown their work at her gallery.