HB student and Chihuahua are 2015 Reflections victors

Michaela Dinman, Staff Writer

What would make the world a better place?

This year’s Reflections art competition challenged its contestants to answer this question, and Hollis-Brookline student Caitlin McWha, ’16, went above and beyond in her contributions. McWha won first place in her category, with her vision of a world where people are given new life through a pet.

McWha submitted a drawing of her beloved pet Chihuahua, Faye, at the urging of photography teacher Bridget MacMillan. As she looked at all of the other entries, McWha admits to feeling intimidated by the other artists and their pieces. “It feels really weird, having strangers judge me and my work,” McWha says.

So it came as a welcome surprise when she was informed that her piece had won.

In a summary of her work, McWha detailed how animals can help better the world.

“Animals can really benefit people. They can help people with PTSD, depression, and autistic people.”

McWha also supports programs that give incarcerated criminals a pet to love and to care for. “[It shows that] someone does love you, and that someone needs you”–knowledge which, she believes, can help people change.

Faye and McWha have been together for almost a year now and have developed a deep relationship. Faye is one of three dogs in McWha’s home, but is especially important because she belongs exclusively to one person.

“She’s all mine,” says McWha. “She helps me whenever I have a bad day.”

McWha will continue drawing and developing her art portfolio. She hopes to soon produce a portrait of each of her pets: one of each dog and another of her cat. She is expanding her passion and developing roots in more and more mediums of expression, with this year’s Reflections program a landmark as she moves forward in the future.