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Rilee Harris '23 wins art award for iatrophobia illustration

Most people don’t like going to the doctor’s office.

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Rilee Harris ’23 REALLY doesn’t like to go to the doctor’s office.

Rilee, though, used her iatrophobia (extreme fear of doctors or medical tests) and talents as an artist to earn an Honorable Mention Award at this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Contest.

Rilee completed the digital illustration as part of her portfolio for AP 2D Design, which she takes with Mr. Paul Bloomfield.


Rilee regarding her portfolio: “We have to build a portfolio based on a theme. My theme is things that scare me. Since I was a kid, I’ve been afraid of doctors. I think of them as some type of other being. I made the illustration to make them look how I perceive them to be – looking at them through my eyes.”

Rilee regarding receiving an award: “I was shocked. We had to pay to enter, so the money was worth it. I feel more confident as an artist now.”

Rilee regarding what she likes about digital art: “It’s such a new platform that has more versatility than any other medium. You can play around with so many different things on digital art that you can’t otherwise.”

Rilee on when she started to put more work into her interest of art: “I became serious about art when COVID-19 started, because of the lockdown. I saw so many things on Instagram with amazing art, I was wondering how they created those pieces because they weren’t drawn with a painting or pencil.”

Mr. Bloomfield regarding Rilee’s portfolio: “Rilee's illustration is part of a series of works that she has been developing since December for her AP 2D Design exam. Her chosen theme of "phobias" expresses and reveals her perception of fears for all to see. In this piece, she captured the impending moment just before becoming unconscious at the hands of a surgeon and the scalpel.”

Mr. Bloomfield regarding Rilee’s growth as an artist: “Rilee continues to develop as a visual artist as she endeavors to communicate these inner feelings in a variety of ways. Rilee is truly developing as an artist, and I very much look forward to seeing each piece she finishes. More of her work and her AP 2D Design classmates is currently on display in Binney Gallery.”


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