Alison Waldman’s artwork had long been the object of scholastic admiration – but the recent Irmo High School graduate’s talents soon will be displayed before an international audience.

Waldman’s painting has been selected to appear on the cover of the 2014-15 IB Workshops and Resources Catalogue, a professional development tool for international baccalaureate program educators.

“It’s been really exciting to know my art will appear on the cover,” Waldman said of the publication, which also will feature an article about her.

Waldman was part of Irmo High’s IB program, and her 11-by-14 acrylic-on-canvas painting of a peacock was one of 18 pieces she submitted as part of her IB visual arts exam portfolio. The IB program selected her painting from her exam portfolio.

“I think it’s really cool that it’s an international publication,” she said. “It’s definitely an honor.”

Waldman already had received several awards and accolades for her artwork. Those included Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention awards for her drawings in the 2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for the Southeast Region-at-Large as well as first place honors in the 2014 South Carolina Junior Duck Stamp Competition.

The International Baccalaureate program offers programs worldwide to help students develop intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills through course work and projects. Irmo’s two-year program includes 13 courses.

Students in Lexington-Richland 5’s IB program have raised money for local charities and worked on intercontinental projects.

“We are so proud of Alison and all the students that raise the bar for their educational experiences here at our school,” said Irmo High principal David Riegel. “Alison is a shining example of why Irmo High School has a bright future and of the quality of work that our students are capable of producing.”

Irmo High art teacher Catie Smylie, who taught Waldman for three years, lauded her artistic maturity.

“Alison moved beyond just creating beautiful paintings and drawings by developing relationships with her subject matter, Smylie said. “She investigated cultural significance, folklore, habitat, and physical characteristics of each of the animals in her IB Visual Arts portfolio.”

Waldman said she hopes to use her talents to promote animal preservation.

“From a young age I have had a love for animals, which continues today and is expressed through my artworks,” she said. “I feature animals that are endangered, have special religious connections, or are culturally significant as the subjects of my artworks.”

She said by depicting these animals in a respectful way she hopes to generate greater interest in endangered species and encourage protection of all the world’s animals.

Waldman will enroll in Virginia Tech this fall and plans to major in engineering. She said she feels well-prepared thanks to Irmo’s IB program and hopes the publication of her artwork is just the start of seeing her work on display.

“I’m thinking of being an art minor in college,” Waldman said. “If I do that, perhaps it will open the door for my work to be in galleries. I’m so grateful for all the teachers that helped and encouraged me. This is a really cool opportunity.”

About Bertram Rantin

Bertram Rantin

@bertramrantin

Bertram Rantin is The State's metro columnist with a current focus on the inspirational people and community helpers in Columbia, SC, and the Midlands. Rantin has covered a variety of areas during his tenure at the newspaper including local government, schools, sports, features, transportation, volunteerism and non profits. Email Bertram at brantin@thestate.com or call him at (803) 771-8306.

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