High school visual artists win 69 awards, including four top awards, in Scholastic Art & Writing competition

Visual Arts students earned 69 awards, including four top honors -- three American Vision Awards and the Best Portfolio award -- at the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the Eastern/Central North Carolina region. Winners were announced recently by Barton College in Wilson, N.C., regional hosts.

“It is another incredible year for our high school visual artists,” said Will Taylor, director of the Visual Arts Program in UNCSA’s School of Design and Production. “I am very proud that our students won 33 gold keys, 22 silver keys and 14 honorable mentions at this year’s Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. All of our students are deeply committed to their craft and the rigor of our Visual Arts Program. It is always rewarding to see their hours of hard work and investment acknowledged.”

Artwork by Sadie Cook

Artwork by Sadie Cook

Sadie Cook, a senior from Chapel Hill, won three of the five American Vision Awards in the regional competition and the Best Portfolio award. She also won 14 gold keys, a silver key and two honorable mentions, for work that included her portfolio, drawing and illustration, photography and sculpture. She is among 300 artists nationally whose work will be exhibited in New York City in June.

Taylor said the American Vision Medals are akin to “best-of-show” awards. “Our region in the Scholastic Arts program is very large, and very competitive. It is quite an accomplishment for Sadie to win four top honors. Her work ethic and resolve are phenomenal.”

Artwork by Alexandria Chapman

Artwork by Alexandria Chapman 

Other winners from UNCSA include:

 Bella Carlos from Raleigh, one silver key;

Alexandria Chapman from Pineola, N.C., one gold key;

Jack Covitz from Raleigh, one honorable mention;

Kayleigh Efird from Troutman, N.C., three gold keys, two silver keys and one honorable mention;

Mirjam Mueller from Asheville, four gold keys and two silver keys;

Catherine Pavell from Morrisville, one honorable mention;

Emma Sarver from Asheville, two gold keys, two silver keys and one honorable mention;

Grace Shanholtz from North Topsail Beach, N.C., one gold key;

Tess Sichitiu from Cary, N.C., two silver keys and one honorable mention;

Skyla Ward from Marshall, N.C., two gold keys, five silver keys and one honorable mention; and

Myah Wyse from Waxhaw, N.C., six gold keys, six silver keys and six honorable mentions.

Cook, Chapman and Wyse are repeat winners. Last year, Cook and Chapman each won a silver key, and Wyse won three gold keys and a silver key.

Artwork by Myah Wise

 Artwork by Myah Wise

Michael J. Kelley, dean of the School of Design and Production, congratulated student winners, their parents and the Visual Arts faculty. “Will Taylor and his colleagues, including Pamela Griffin and Elizabeth Alexander, are outstanding teachers who not only guide students in developing skills and aesthetics, but also emphasize the discipline that is necessary for a strong personal work ethic,” he said.

An awards ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 31 at Barton College. Works that received gold and silver keys will be on exhibit at the college through Feb. 18.

The Eastern/Central Region is largest in the state, representing 62 counties stretching from Winston-Salem to the coast.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s most prestigious recognition program for artists and writers, which identified the early promise of Richard Avedon, Joyce Maynard, Tom Otterness, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates, Andy Warhol and Zac Posen.

More than $3.25 million in scholarships are available to graduating seniors who earn national medals.  The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, a consortium of leading art and design colleges in the U.S., recognizes The Scholastic Art Awards as an effective way for students interested in art and design to develop successful portfolios for college admission.

UNCSA’s Visual Arts Program enrolls high school juniors and seniors who commit to a rigorous course of study in design, drawing, sculpture and art history.

Graduates of the Visual Arts Program have continued to pursue their interest in the fine arts at universities such as Virginia Commonwealth, Kansas City Art Institute, Maryland Institute College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, School of Art Institute of Chicago, Ringling College of Art and Design, School of the Museum of Fine Art - Boston and College for Creative Studies.

Alumni have enjoyed successful careers in photography, graphic design, painting, animation, sculpture, installation art, makeup artistry and arts education. World-renowned photographer, documentary filmmaker, and director David LaChapelle, an alumnus of the Visual Arts Program, was the speaker for UNCSA’s high school commencement in 2015.

by Lauren Whitaker

Published: Jan. 29, 2016