Although I’m usually not keen on juried art/creative competitions, Scholastic’s annual event tailored to U.S. and Canadian high school students has a broadly inclusive scope. Chosen by an illustrious and accomplished jury from 185,000 submissions, the high level of talent on display at the World Financial Center’s Courtyard Gallery this past June was inspiring.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have been in existence for 88 years with notably visual art alumni such as Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Cy Twombly, David Salle, and Mel Bochner. Overall in 2011, 30,000 teenage artists and writers were recognized in their local communities. 8,555 teens received regional awards and 1240 received national awards.
But the real prize is inclusion in the New York City exhibition. This year it showcased over 600 pieces of visual art and writing examples. There is also a traveling show that will be seen in 5 locations across the country. The professional looking installation in the spacious Courtyard Gallery featured a gala reception, and during the exhibit the student artists gave talks about their work. Creative development workshops included rare opportunities to mentor with influential contemporary artists, dealers, and curators.
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers (AYAW) publishes “The National Catalog,” a snazzy looking full color tome that features quality reproductions of national award winners of visual art, alongside engaging essays and poetry by their peers. The “Spark” publication is dedicated to middle school students and contains an amazing collection of art and writing by gifted children (there are PDF versions of both on the website).
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards reveal the vast wealth of creative talent initiative our nation’s young adults and school children have promulgated. Any doubts concerning the vitality and important value of art curriculum should be put to rest by this outstanding display of youthful artistic endeavor.
Make sure to visit the website of The Alliance for Young Artists & Writer and view the “galleries” to see a selection of student art.
Applications for the 2012 awards will be available soon here.
A selection of photos from the 2011 Courtyard Gallery exhibit:
Please visit Flicker to see more photos.
This post was written by Eliot Markell, Director of Mentoring Programs at Art College Excellence (ACE). ACE offers a dedicated, full service, portfolio application coaching team to make the stressful art college selection process go smoothly.