A FAMILIAR GIFT — Naomi Schoff (center) recently received a third-place ribbon for her work in the 2019 IPS Holiday Art Contest. Naomi is following in the footsteps of her mother, who is also an artist.



For Arsenal Technical High School student Naomi Schoff, who placed third in the 2019 IPS Holiday Art Contest, creativity comes easy. She’s been creating art her whole life.

Naomi’s mother, Becky Wilson, is an acrylic, oil and mixed media artist and art teacher. Naomi’s father, Alan Schoff, beams with pride as he speaks about his daughter’s talent and his wife’s commitment to the community.

“(The arts) builds confidence in kids. It is a positive escape to learn something new,” he said.

Arts education is a tradition for IPS and its dedicated art teachers. For more than three decades, the annual Holiday Art Contest has existed in one form or another. The current contest evolved from a fundraiser for the arts programs in which community partners printed the winning art on holiday cards and sold them at Indianapolis area banks. Funds were then directed to IPS high schools for supplies and support of students as they pursued their passions.

The holiday cards are no longer created, but the contest lives on.

“It’s great, the support Naomi gets at Arsenal Tech,” said Alan Schoff. “They support being creative in the visual and performance arts, which ultimately supports the academics.”

Naomi doesn’t work in the same medium as her mother. She usually sketches, but chose to work in paint for this year’s art contest entry. She also enjoys the comradery of being an artist. “I like the little community we have,” said Naomi.

With entries from 11 elementary, middle and high schools across IPS, Christian Luehmann, Arsenal Tech 3D and ceramics art teacher, believes that it is important for parents and students to get a chance to see their art in the community.

“A lot of my students are just starting out, so I just tell them to make an effort,” Luehmann said, while surveying the array of textiles utilized and imagination featured during the Holiday Art Contest awards ceremony on Dec. 4 at the Basile Opera Center. “I tell them to start with the first few lines and build off of that.”

Naomi smiled as she held her dreamy, night sky painting of Santa and his reindeer, and her third-place ribbon. Her inherited love of art is evident in her work.

When asked about recommending art classes to other students, Naomi grinned and said: “Try it; you might like it.”

2019 IPS Holiday Art Contest Winners

The art contest offers three divisions, including Elementary School (Grades K–5), Middle School (Grades 6–8) and High School (Grades 9–12).

This year’s winners are listed by name, school and grade.

Elementary School Division

First Place:Sheyli Ruiz-Duarte, Floro Torrence School 83, Grade 4

Second Place:Enalee Hettiarachchi, Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58, Grade 5

Third Place:Ashley Ramos, Floro  Torrence School 83, Grade 5

Honorable Mention:Evolet Jaramillo, Rousseau McClellan School 91, Grade 5

Honorable Mention:Maya DaCosta, Sidener Academy for High Ability Students, Grade 5

Honorable Mention:Mazie Stark-Jines, George Washington Carver School 87, Grade 3


Middle School Division 

First Place:Aaliyah Roska, Harshman Middle School, Grade 8

Second Place:Lucy Kreutz, Center for Inquiry School 84, Grade 6

Third Place:L.J. Leising, Center for Inquiry School 84, Grade 6

Honorable Mention:Jazmine Billips, Floro Torrence School 83, Grade 6

Honorable Mention:Lilly Gaddis, IPS | Butler University Laboratory School 55, Grade 7

Honorable Mention:Abby Hastings, Rousseau McClellan School 91, Grade 8


High School Division

First Place:Lorelei Rodriguez, Arsenal Technical High School, Grade 11

Second Place:Rachel Vasquez, Crispus Attucks High School, Grade 11

Third Place:Naomi Schoff, Arsenal Technical High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention:Joselyn Hernandez, Arsenal Technical High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mention:Charles Shoemake, Arsenal Technical High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention: Rachel Vasquez, Crispus Attucks High School, Grade 11