Scholastic Art and Writing spark creative minds

Jenan Taha, Features & Arts Editor

Artists at Creek are encouraged to enter the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a nationwide competition that rewards talented students for their creative art pieces, writing skills, or both. Students may have their entries recognized on a national scale and can be awarded thousands in scholarship money.

The deadline for all Scholastic entries is December 15, 2014. The entries are not required to demonstrate a specific theme, and no piece will be disqualified solely for inappropriate content. However, Scholastic notes that their judges are looking for “work that breaks from convention, blurs the boundaries between genres, and challenges notions of how a particular concept or emotion can be expressed.”

There are plenty of categories pieces can be entered in; art categories range from classic arts such as drawing and painting to the more unconventional architecture, fashion design and film. Writing categories include poetry, essays, journalism, humor, drama, and more.

Senior contestants are encouraged to send in portfolios of their work, which include eight different pieces of their work that can be from various categories. Students who send in portfolios can also send in individual entries, which can either be part of their portfolio or not. One student can send in up to two portfolios.

Entries are submitted electronically through the Scholastic website. Students must create an account and upload photos of their entries. A submission form must also be filled out by hand and mailed to the local Scholastic program, which varies by region. Each individual entry includes a fee of $5, and each portfolio entry is $20.

Out of approximately 255,000 entries from around the country, around 68,000 are recognized at the regional level with a Silver Key award. These works are displayed at local exhibits and awards are given at the exhibitions.

The top 2000 works in the country receive Gold Keys, and are recognized at the national level, with their work exhibited at Carnegie Hall. Gold Keys are also displayed at Parsons the New School for Design, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, and other prestigious art centers.  These works also tour the country in a moving exhibition as a part of ART.WRITE.NOW.

Select works are published in various magazines, including New York Times Upfront, Scholastic Art Magazine, Scope Magazine, and several others that are distributed nationwide.

Thousands of dollars in scholarships are given to top artists each year. A $10,000 scholarship is awarded to 16 students with the best portfolio entries. Students who earn Silver Key portfolios receive $1000. Art teachers are also rewarded for their student’s success. Teachers whose students won a Gold Key portfolio receive $1000, Silver Key portfolio winners receive $250, and $50 for each Gold or Silver medal-winning student.

Scholastic is a great opportunity for senior artists to show off their potential to prospective art colleges, because the program has partnerships with several prestigious institutes that are looking for creative students from around the country. Even if a student does not win on the national scale, simply entering the Scholastic contest can demonstrate one’s confidence in their artistic ability.

“With 90 years of history behind us and a bright future ahead, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has grown to be the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers,” Scholastic said. “Join us as a student, educator, affiliate, partner, or supporter and claim your place within our nation’s creative legacy.”