NEW YORK, PRNewswire — The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers recently announced the national winners of the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. More than 300,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level in the Awards’ 28 categories, which include poetry, painting, architecture, short story, fashion design and more. Sixteen high school seniors received the program’s highest national honor, the Portfolio Gold Medal, which includes a $10,000 cash scholarship. In addition, all national Award-winning high school seniors gain access to a special scholarship pool of more than $10 million through Alliance partnerships with esteemed colleges and universities across the U.S.
Aubree Riggle, a 2015 Senior from Pontotoc, received an American Voices Nominee/Best in Show, 1 Gold Key, and 1 Honorable Mention.
“The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards reflect the diverse landscape of today’s young creative thinkers,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the administrator of the Scholastic Awards. “Year after year we see more of the nation’s most talented and innovative teens emerge from different parts of the country, and it is our privilege to provide them with a platform to share and amplify their unique voices with a national audience.”
All art and writing submissions were judged based on the program’s three criteria: originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice. Student works were first adjudicated regionally through the more than 100 local Affiliates of the Alliance. Regional winners receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions or American Visions & Voices Nominations were celebrated within their communities through local exhibitions and ceremonies.
Gold Key-winning works were then judged nationally by an impressive panel of creative-industry experts to receive Gold, Silver, American Visions & Voices, Portfolio Silver with Distinction or
Portfolio Gold Medals. This program year, more than 1,900 of the most talented teens from 47 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and American schools abroad received national recognition and gained access to exhibition and publication opportunities, as well as scholarships. This year’s list of distinguished jurors included artist Andres Serrano, poet Nikki Giovanni, Warhol Museum Director Eric Shiner, artist Wangechi Mutu and comic artist Dash Shaw.
Since the program’s founding in 1923, the Awards have fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students, including renowned alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their fields, including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Philip Pearlstein and Sylvia Plath. More recently, Stephen King, Richard Linklater, Zac Posen and Lena Dunham won Scholastic Art & Writing Awards when they were teens.
In June, National Award-winning teens from across the country gathered in New York City to attend the National Celebration series of events in their honor, hosted by the Alliance. This celebratory week kicked off on June 5 with the opening of the Art.Write.Now.2015 National Exhibition at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at The New School’s Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery, featuring more than 1,000 Award-winning visual and literary works.
The Alliance is grateful for its generous sponsors, who provide funds to support and produce all programs, including the Awards: Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, The National Endowment for the Arts, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, The Gedenk Movement, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Golden Artist Colors, the Bernstein Family Foundation, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Duck Tape®, Colossal Media, 3D Systems; numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.