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Beverly High School Art Stars

The Salem News Art Stars from Beverly High School

  • 4 min to read

There’s no question that the North Shore is brimming with student ingenuity.

Whether it be singing, writing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, animation or other artistic mediums, many local students are innovators in their field of art.

The Salem News presents its second annual series to acknowledge students on the North Shore who are gifted in the arts.

The region’s high schools have nominated students who excel in the visual, performing or musical arts. Continuing the series are three students from Beverly High School who have received accolades for their work in ceramics, film and media production.

We asked the nominees — Maddie Thomas, Daniel Lee and Emily Auday — questions related to their artistic talents, accomplishments and future plans. Their responses are below.


Maddie Thomas

Maddie Thomas holds her pottery.

Maddie Thomas

  • Age: 18
  • Grade: Senior
  • GPA: 4.3
  • Artistic talents: Ceramics
  • Extracurricular activities: Maddie is the senior class president; the National Art Honors Society vice president; the Chorus president; the stage manager and student director of the musical; the stage manager of the fall play; a varsity swimmer; a member of the National Honors Society; and an active member of many community-service groups.
  • Awards and recognition: Silver Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards; first place in Ceramics/Glass from Endicott College; Excellence in AP 3D Design (score: 4).
  • Future college plans and intended major: University of Massachusetts Amherst; double major in studio art and hospitality management.

Tell us how you got started in the arts. How old were you, and what piqued your interest?

I have always taken visual art courses, in and out of school, since I could hold a paintbrush. I started ceramics in seventh grade.

Why do you love your art?

I love pottery because it is functional. Functional art is interactive, and has a dual purpose.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments within your art field?

I really enjoyed making a portfolio junior year. Ending the year with a complete, 20-piece portfolio helped my art resume and college application process run smoothly.

How have you balanced school with your art?

Art is part of my school day. I have been in AP Art for the past two years. It makes it easy for art to be a priority every day.

What are some of your future goals related to your art?

I would like to keep art in my life into my old age. Art and swimming will be hobbies I can enjoy with others for a long time.

How did you come to the decision to study your art in college?

I think having a sense of design and visual satisfaction is important in any career. Selling art is an easy, enjoyable way to make money.


Daniel Lee

  • Age: 16
  • Grade: Junior
  • GPA: 3.6
  • Artistic talents: Film and media
  • Extracurricular activities: I used to be president of the Video Game Club, but passed the title to another kid in the group. I am part of the school’s competitive Robotics Team.
  • Awards and recognition: National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Boston/New England Chapter award for short film (first place and honorable mentions), second place in the Alliance for Community Media Northeast Region.

Tell us how you got started in the arts. How old were you, and what piqued your interest?

I started getting interesting in making videos in middle school around seventh or eighth grade. The videos were supposed to be basic projects for various classes. I found I really enjoyed telling stories visually, and people told me I was really good at it.

Why do you love your art?

I love making films because I can express more complex ideas and share my thoughts with others in an abstract way they can understand. I love seeing the reactions of people once they understand my stories, or get a good laugh out of a joke.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments within your art field?

My proudest accomplishment would probably have to be winning an award from NATAS for one of my first pieces I created. It was a simple story about a little window knick knack that was forgotten and misunderstood. Although it was basic and not my most polished work, the story moved along with a lighthearted but emotionally striking theme.

How have you balanced school with your art?

I have had classes in school in which I created pieces for the class as assignments. I also do some other film projects after school on Tuesdays. Doing projects never really gets in the way of my education, and I am usually able to do both stress free.

What are some of your future goals related to your art?

I want to win another award before I graduate, and I also want to establish a YouTube channel and get a good base of followers online.

Do you have plans to continue studying your art in college, either as a hobby or as a major? How did you come to this decision?

I decided I wanted to major in film for college after I took my first media class. I really enjoyed making videos, and was sold with the fact that I wanted to do this after I got my first award.


Emily Auday

  • Age: 17
  • Grade: Junior
  • GPA: 4.5
  • Artistic talents: Film production
  • Extracurricular activities: I’ve been a dancer for my whole life. I take ballet, modern and jazz dance.
  • Awards and recognition: National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Boston/New England Student Awards for Excellence: “Who am I? A Self Portrait” (2014), and first place in the writing category for her video “Memorandum” (2015). Honorable Mention from NATAS for the video “Thought Machine” (2014).

Tell us how you got started in the arts. How old were you, and what piqued your interest?

I’ve always loved to create things. When I was 12 years old, I realized that film was my preferred medium. I got my first video camera and started videotaping. I haven’t put down the camera since.

Why do you love your art?

I love video art because it has the capacity to reach a massive audience. Unlike a painting or sculpture in an art gallery, my films can be seen and shared by anyone with a computer. Videos have no exclusivity, and can be experienced by people across the world.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments within your art field?

One of my proudest accomplishments was being recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for “Who am I? A Self Portrait.”

How have you balanced school with your art?

Balancing my school work and my passion for video production hasn’t been very difficult for me, because I am able to take media classes with Ms. Lloyd at Beverly High School.

What are some of your future goals related to your art?

In the future, I’d like to fund and create my own experimental short film. I’d love to be able to participate in independent film festivals and share my own vision with critics and a large audience.

Do you have plans to continue studying your art in college, either as a hobby or as a major? How did you come to this decision?

As a college student, I will be majoring in film production. Once I learned that I could make a career out of my passion, I knew that I had to pursue film as an undergraduate student. Next fall, I will be applying to California schools with film programs.