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Bright Future: Cathedral sophomore celebrates duck stamp win

NATCHEZ — The youngest member of Cathedral High School’s art program was among three students to finish first in Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp competition, a program in which the students in Andree Gamberi’s class participate each year.

Cate Drane, a sophomore student at Cathedral placed first in the competition with her painting of a Wood Duck called “Watching Willard.”

“He took me about two months to paint,” Drane said. “You have to paint the feathers in the direction they go in. There are a lot of different colors and textures to the feathers so you have to paint it in portions. I like challenges and figured that a Wood Duck would be the hardest to paint.”

Drane placed first in the competition with two seniors at Cathedral, Taylor Lessley and Olivia Waycaster.

Cathedral students typically start taking Art I their junior year of high school but Drane said she was able to start early after having transferred extra credit hours from the former Trinity Episcopal School.

Drane said she has always loved doing different art projects at home and fell in love with acrylic painting after taking Gamberi’s class.

“I like that you can put all of your energy and stress into art and make it into something beautiful,” she said. “(At home) I love drawing or painting just about anything and everything. I do action photos like a person playing basketball and I also enjoy nature painting like the duck because it’s calming. I never really started to paint until this year because I didn’t know how to paint with acrylic but I’ve always enjoyed art and drawing for as long as I can remember. Painting is my favorite now. I wouldn’t have been able to paint my duck if it weren’t for Mrs. Gamberi helping me.”

Besides her passion for art, Drane said she enjoys sports and participates in the Greenwave basketball, softball and tennis teams and the Emerald Elite dance team.

Drane is also actively involved in the Key Club and is her class secretary and chaplain on the Mayor’s Youth Council.

When she graduates, Drane said her dream is to study at Ole Miss and later become an interventional radiologist.

Drane said she was inspired by her parents, Kenneth and Lucinda Drane, who both work in medicine.

“I just find it interesting that your bones make up your body. Without them, you’d be a blob of skin. Every 10 years or so they completely regenerate themselves so it’s like you have a whole new skeleton but not all at once,” she said.