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May 3, 2024

For information on admission to Notre Dame Prep, please click here

Notre Dame Prep's visual arts students finished off the school year in typical fashion: a stellar exhibition mounted last month in the school's main triangle, and still another slew of awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition for the Southeastern Michigan region.

Senior Jacob Samuels, who won two Gold Key awards and one Silver Key award in the Scholastic Arts competition, is with classmate Michael Kenny, who earned two Gold Key awards, at the 2024 IB/AP Art Exhibition, which opened April 22. More photos from the exhibition opening are below.

According to Michelle Zimmerman, Notre Dame Prep’s visual arts teacher, NDP upper-school students earned 15 Gold Key awards, the highest honor of the regional competition, 3 Silver Keys and 5 honorable mentions, awards conferred by the New York City-based Alliance for Young Artists & Writers in conjunction with Scholastic.

At this year's IB/AP Art Exhibition, Zimmerman was beside herself with pride for the students she and fellow visual art teacher Talan Wall mentored during the 2023-2024 school year.

“I am so proud of the students who we celebrated at this year’s exhibition," she said. "Showing this caliber of talent and variety of technical skills excites me as their teacher, knowing they will improve even more in the years to come. We also are all very excited at the growing interest in ceramics and look forward to introducing more 3D and sculpture projects next year.”

Zimmerman also praised the addition of Wall to the art staff this year.

"Talan has been a wonderful addition to the department," she said. "Together we will continue to provide students with a wide variety of projects that will increase their creative problem-solving skills. 

For Wall, he was totally impressed with talent of NDP student-artists.

“Having only arrived at Notre Dame Prep this semester, I was a little unsure with how it would turn out," he said. "To say it blew my expectations out of the water would be putting it mildly. I was thoroughly impressed with the IB students' work, but also the work from the AP seniors as well. It was great to see all the pieces and the wide variety of talent we have at our school. I can only see it getting better next year.”

Michael Kenny NDP'24, who won two Gold Key awards in the Scholastic competition, was grateful for his mentors and for one specific component of Notre Dame Prep's visual art program in particular.

"The IB art program, specifically, has truly been an amazing experience, and I am so glad that I participated in it so fully," he said. "I had the opportunity to explore my overarching theme of communication, something missing in today's society. I am so thankful to Mrs. LewAllen and Mrs. Zimmerman for helping me and guiding me through the IB art program; I truly couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend the IB Diploma Program to everyone who goes through NDP, as it truly opens your worldview and gives you an amazing new perspective on how you can be an active global citizen."

Hannah Zink, NDP'24 also had high marks for IB Art.

The International Baccalaureate art program has introduced me to many new art mediums I otherwise would have never realized I enjoyed," she said at the exhibition. "From printmaking to sculpting to painting, I've found so many new art forms I love, and now I can do more than just sketch with a pencil."

She added that underclassmen interested in trying new things and experimenting with creativity, "I highly encourage you to join IB Art!"

Peyton Von Bernthal NDP'24, whose art was prominently displayed at the student show, earned five Gold Key awards, one honorable mention and one honorable mention portfolio award in this year's Scholastic Art Awards. She said the school's art program greatly expanded her skill set as she heads to the University of Michigan. 

"As a senior who plans on pursuing a career in design, my artistic development is something very important to me," she said at the exhibition's opening night. "Throughout my four years of high school here at Notre Dame Prep, I have received an abundance of support and encouragement to further my artistic passions and to step out of my comfort zone by exploring new concepts."

She added that she believes that support has helped harness her artistic voice as well, a voice that led to a total of eight Scholastic art awards during her NDP career.

"Without the resources and mentors of the art program here, I would not be where I am today as an artist," she said. "I am so blessed to have such amazing teachers and a hugely talented community of artists here at NDP."

Audrey Kuyoth NDP'24, who also earned accolades in the Scholastic competition, noted that she felt the NDP visual art program introduced her to her full artistic potential.

"I learned how to express my feelings, interpret current issues and everything in-between on a canvas," she said. "I would recommend NDP art programming to anyone hoping to further explore their artistic capabilities and delve into the thought process behind each piece they create."









For information on admission to Notre Dame Prep, please click here.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School
"At Notre Dame Prep, we inspire our students to become the best versions of themselves. We challenge them through an experience of academic excellence, focused on active, project-based learning. We invite them to explore a world of opportunities beyond the classroom. We guide them as they grow in spirituality within a community strong in its Catholic and Marist identity."

Notre Dame Preparatory School is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School's upper school enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame Prep's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDP is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School, visit the school’s home page at