Congratulations to WMCAT Teen Artist Jason Bursley on winning a national Silver Key from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Jason, his mom Erin and WMCAT staff are traveling to New York City in May so Jason can receive his award in person at Carnegie Hall. His award-winning photograph “Dangle” was taken during ArtPrize 2012.

Jason, who is a senior at Creston High School, has spent four years at WMCAT, enthusiastically tackling everything from photography to t-shirt design and sneaker design.

“WMCAT came to my school in 8th grade,” he remembered. “I thought maybe when I’m in high school I’ll check it out. And it’s actually a pretty great thing that I did.”

As a student with high functioning autism, Jason and his mother Erin say WMCAT has helped him develop his voice through art.

“His way to communicate is through his art,” said Erin. “I just think WMCAT has done so much for him. Everyone here is so nice and has helped him. I mean he’s come a long way. I would encourage any kid, even if they’re not sure about it going in to art; they should at least try it. Everyone who goes here; all the kids are wonderful they’re sweet, they’re kind and they seem to have a blast.”

Jason added, ““You can easily make some awesome friends here, just like I have”

Photography is Jason’s passion. He is hoping to attend Kendall College of Art and Design in the fall to study photography and see where it can take him.

Check out coverage of Jason and the award on MLive and The Rapidian.

To help WMCAT provide experiences like Jason’s trip to New York City and engage teens through the arts, please donate today.

Watch Jason describe how he captured the image in his award-winning photo “Dangle.”