Seven Visual Artists win at Scholastic Arts district competition

Students in the Visual Arts Program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts have won 13 Gold Keys, five Silver Keys and four special awards in the regional competition of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers.

Artists from UNCSA won two of the region’s five American Visions nominations, considered “best of show” entries, in addition to the Juror’s Choice Portfolio.

Artwork by Anna Ervin won awards at the Scholastic Arts distric competition

Artwork by Anna Ervin

“This is an incredible performance by our students,” said Will Taylor, director of the Visual Arts Program, a component of UNCSA’s School of Design and Production. “These are gifted artists who work very hard and demonstrate discipline and a strong work ethic. We admire their creative vision, and we applaud their achievements.”

Winning artwork will be exhibited Feb. 10-22 at Barton Art Galleries on the campus of Barton College in Wilson, N.C., where the Central and Eastern North Carolina region of the competition is headquartered. Gold Key winners are automatically considered for national-level recognition, with national winners to be announced in April.

Artwork by Amira Oguntoyinbo won awards at Scholastic Arts distric competition

Artwork by Amira Oguntoyinbo

UNCSA winners, all from North Carolina, include:

  • Tess Crabtree from Hickory, one Gold Key;
  • Victoria Ding from Cary, two Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and an American Visions nomination;
  • Anna Ervin from Cape Carteret, Portfolio Gold Key;
  • Tamera Lepore from Hubert, six Gold Keys, a Portfolio Gold Key, two Silver Keys, an American Visions nomination, and the Wilson Times Award, which includes publication of the artwork in the daily newspaper and a commemorative plaque;
  • Amira Oguntoyinbo from Hillsborough, a Portfolio Gold Key, a Silver Key and Juror’s Choice Portfolio;
  • Mary Song from Raleigh, a Portfolio Gold Key; and
  • Maya Whitaker from Winston-Salem, a Portfolio Silver Key.
Artwork by Mary Song won at the Scholastic Arts district competition.

Artwork by Mary Song

This year students in grades 7-12 submitted nearly 350,000 works of art and writing to the Scholastic Awards. Submissions are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

National award winners will be recognized at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York in June.

For more information about the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards please visit

by Lauren Whitaker

February 06, 2019