NH Scholastic Art Awards – by Kimberly Kien

Have you ever heard of the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards? If not, then you’re missing out! This program was created to recognize the creative talents of teens our age. Young artists in grades 7 – 12 can enter for a chance to win scholarships, a chance to have their works displayed or published, and also the chance to be recognized for an outstanding talent! The types of talents they look for are anything in the writing and/or art field. There are many programs that you can enter, like the National Students Poets Program, the Art.Write.Now.Tour, the Scholastic Awards Summers Series, the Alliance Summer Arts Program, and a variety of other programs they offer.

Did you know that they’ve recognized many well-known artists and writers? People like Andy Warhol, Alan Arkin, Cy Twombly and Philip Pearlstein, were recognized for their special talents. There were talented authors that were recognized too, like Joyce Maynard, Jaida Jones, and Joyce Carol Oates. Filmmakers, artists, photographers, actors, and other people in the creative fields were recognized for their outstanding creativity and talent when they won a gold or silver key when they were in high school!

After a person has submitted their work, it is then judged by the “jurors” in a process called “blind adjudication” in which the judges don’t know who the student is or where they go to school. The “jurors” are the high-ranked leaders that are in the creative fields. Usually they are professional artists or writers, and often they are college professors. Two famous poets who have judged students’ submissions were Langston Hughes and Robert Frost! Chuck Palahniuk and Stephen King are two other recent judges. There are a few specific core values that are judged by the “jurors”. These are the technical skill, the start of personal voice or vision, and its originality.

The Scholastic Arts and Writing Program has brought Awards to the local communities because of its connection with over one hundred other organizations. Other corporations and foundations support the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards by giving them Sponsored Awards and scholarships! Students could get a chance to win those awards if their submission is chosen. Students who are interested in writing poetry can submit their poem into the National Students Poets Program. They can be eligible for the special honors from that program!

Every year more students have participated in this program. As the number of student participation increase, the scholarships and opportunities increase as well! This program is recognized for giving away tons of scholarships to students who’ve won in the past. The program is now well-known for recognizing creative teens.This program has been going on for almost a hundred years!

The work of students who win a Gold Key at the regional level is sent to New York City for national adjudication. Students who win a national Gold Key are invited to a star-studded ceremony at Carnegie Hall! Recent speakers at the ceremony include Meryl Streep, Usher, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jesse Eisenberg, Paul Giamatti, Chelsea Clinton, Tony Hawk, and many others. In the last ten years only two students from Manchester have won national awards and both were students right here at Memorial – Cassy Hobbs in 2009 and Adriana Ohar in 2014.

There are many students here at Memorial High School, who have participated in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program. Here are some of their thoughts about the program:

Brooke Wisniewski (A Junior): “I love editing them in photoshop, my goal is to get a gold key and go to Carnegle Hall in NYC.”

Kayla Pinard (A Sophomore): “I love art and I’m so glad to have one of my pieces entered into the Scholastics. This is a huge step for me whether I win or not!”

Jenna Wagner (A Junior): “Having your work entered in a national competition is nerve-wracking, but it’s a huge opportunity. You try to get a Gold Key-it’s a big dream with a chance.”

Joy Kotee (A Senior): “Being able to enter my work into Scholastics is a big opportunity for me, and it makes me feel good.”

Briona Heon(A Sophomore): “I never thought I was good at art, so having the opportunity to be able to enter something in Scholastics mind blowing.”

View the pictures below to see which Memorial students won Gold or Silver this year!


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