Nancy Rosenblatt, a Cottonwood High School student from 1970-1972, was a passionate and talented visual artist who recognized that access to resources and materials were critical to facilitate the work of becoming an artist by allowing deeper skills development and refining artistic instinct. Nancy produced a high volume of artwork in a vast array of media, even before turning seventeen, revealing the incredible access to artistic instruction and supplies available to her as a student, but she certainly did not take that access for granted.
When receiving praise for her creative works, Nancy once commented to her mother Jacqueline Rosenblatt, “I have all the colors.” Nancy noted that others were also talented, but not everyone had access to all the art supplies that could showcase their skills and ideas. Although Nancy’s life was cut short in a tragic auto accident the summer before her senior year, she left behind an immense body of work in a variety of media, from enamels and ceramics to prints, watercolors, and large-scale paintings.
In memory of Nancy’s life and art, her parents, Donald and Jacqueline Rosenblatt, established an art scholarship trust to fund the creative pursuits of other students, hoping to help as many students as possible “have all the colors.” Since 1972, the Rosenblatt family has provided monetary awards to students throughout the Granite district, since Nancy was in the first class of students to attend Cottonwood for all three years. In recognition of their talent and efforts, a few students at each high school are chosen each year by their teachers to receive these awards. The Rosenblatt’s hope is to expand access to funds and supplies, encouraging the generations who follow Nancy to continue exploring their creative ideas and sharing them with the world.
Congratulations to Granite School District’s 2021 Rosenblatt Award Winners!
Granger High School: Kaden Berrett & Simone Chezem
Cottonwood High School: Kara Bagley & Cali Colton
Cyprus High School: Martin Bermudez & Sydney Brown
Kearns High School: Briar Beddow & Ainsley Startup
Hunter High School: Connor Anderson & Philipe Garcia
Connections High School: Solomon Deane & Katelynn Alires
Skyline High School: Isabella Sabala & Samantha Smith
Taylorsville High School: Rachel Sandbery & Heba Alhamdani
Olympus High School: Oakley Midkiff & Ava Hill
A few of the winners and their works of art are highlighted below. Along with the other winners, this artwork is displayed in an art gallery at the Granite School District offices.
Heba Alhamdani, a student and Rosenblatt award winner from Taylorsville, has been making art for as long as she can remember. At a young age she’d sit and watch her father paint, “mesmerized by the strokes and blobs of color” he used. Watching her dad paint unlocked the artist within her and she began experimenting on her own. Since then, she’s taken art classes at school and is currently creating a portfolio of works for her AP Studio Art class. As she prepares for portfolio submission and graduation, she hopes to keep art a long term aspect of her life. See her work of art, “Hand Stitched With Love,” below.
“I find inspiration all around me. Whether it be in music, images, or just life in general, my art reflects my inner self. I allow my thoughts and emotions to flow through my art. I want my art to speak to the emotions and personal experiences of those who see it. I enjoy using acrylic, watercolor and collage elements to express myself.”
Similarly, Samantha Smith, of Skyline High School has been surrounded by art for most of her life as her parents, grandparents and others have taught her to value and incorporate it into her life. Samantha uses art as therapy and as a way to express herself. Her style, inspired by contemporary artists, is characterized by defined lines, color, and exaggeration to achieve her vision through trial and error.
“I am an artist learning more of my Native American heritage through the process of sculpture and painting. I value ancestry and culture, and incorporate family heirlooms, tribes, and memories into my work.”
Kara Ellen Bagley was born in Murray, Utah and enjoys playing the cello and the piano. She also studied the Mandarin Chinese language, art, and culture in the dual immersion program. However, her greatest interest and talent has always been art. She is drawn to imagining and drawing original characters and writing dramatic stories. Of her art journey, Kara notes, “The more I learn, the more I want to learn. I believe that no matter what I do in life, the discipline, focus, creativity, and improvisation that I use to make art will enhance everything I do. I will always be creating and problem solving.”
“I love working with all mediums and trying new things. My favorite to work with would either be oil paint or colored pencil because I love how easy they are to blend. My style is mostly realism, but lately I have been trying to create more impressionistic pieces.”
Jason Dieu became an artist as he watched his father have fun creating and making his own art. As a sophomore at Taylorsville High School, Jason began to pursue art seriously and has since met wonderful and amazing artists. Whether they were teachers or classmates or friends, they created art that had a voice.
Of his collage titled “Line Mine” which was created with gouache and ink, Jason explains, “I like to create art I want to see in the world because your identity doesn’t always get represented in media. If my art helps someone feel seen or heard, then maybe they’ll feel less alone. That’s the most powerful thing about art: it gives people a voice.”
We applaud students, teachers, parents, and everyone who helps facilitate artful experiences for students. Supplies, instruction, and a safe environment are necessary for the creation of meaningful art that expresses ideas, perspectives, and feelings. Thanks to the Rosenblatt Awards, students in the Granite School District are blessed with that opportunity. Congratulations to the 2021 winners; we can’t wait to see what creative ideas and talents you explore next!
This article was written by Hanna Gemperline, a singer, dancer, and actress studying Experience Design and Management at BYU.