Visual artists excel in Scholastic Art Awards

Thirteen high school students in the Visual Arts Program have won awards in two North Carolina regions of the newly reorganized Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. UNCSA visual artists won a total of 10 gold keys, including a prestigious American Visions nominee; eight silver keys; and 12 honorable mentions. Two additional gold key works received special recognition.

Ila Waller of Chapel Hill, N.C., is an American Visions nominee for her gold-key work, "Mysticism," and she received special recognition from the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture for another gold-key work, "On Sunday We Dream." The Gantt Center preserves and celebrates excellence in the art, history and culture of African Americans and people of African descent. Waller also won two silver keys.

Anna Kosinski of Chapel Hill won two gold keys, a silver key and an honorable mention. One of her gold-key works, "Lost in Translation," was chosen by Adams Outdoor Billboards to appear on a billboard near the UNCSA campus in March and April.

Recipients of gold keys, the highest awards, were recognized Feb. 20 in a Zoom ceremony sponsored by  the Mid-Carolina Region of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, which is hosted by the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. A recording of the ceremony and gallery of gold-key art can be viewed online.

Winning artwork will be on display at the Mint Museum in Uptown Charlotte until April 11.

A sample of student work:

"Brain Juice" by Sarah Gerics"Country Club Hellscape" by Sarah GericsSculpture work by Kennedy Giovanelli"Lost in Translation" by Anna Kosinski"Google Classroom" by Anna Kosinski"Femme Hedera" by Audrey Graham"On Sundays We Dream" by Ila Waller"Mysticism" by Ila Waller

“This is a tremendous accomplishment by our students in two very competitive regions,” said Will Taylor, director of the Visual Arts Program in the School of Design and Production (D&P). “It has not been an easy year for them, but they have persevered with hard work and dedication to craft. We are very proud of them.”

Ten UNCSA students competed in the Mid-Carolina Region and three competed in the Eastern North Carolina Region, hosted by East Carolina University.

Gold key recipients, all of whom competed in the Mid-Carolina Region, include:

Sarah Gerics of Raleigh, N.C., two gold keys;

Lorelei Lin of Cornelius, N.C., two gold keys and three honorable mentions;

Maia McElvane of Charlotte, N.C., one gold key; and

Hami Trinh of Sanford, N.C., a gold key, two silver keys and one honorable mention.

Other visual artists who won awards include:

Oliver Coria of Charlotte, N.C., a silver key;

Kennedy Giovanelli of Huntersville, N.C., one silver key and an honorable mention;

Audrey Graham of Cary, N.C., an honorable mention;

Charlie Herron of Charlotte, N.C., two honorable mentions;

Lillian Kline of Bakersville, N.C., a silver key;

Mel Mandle of Asheville, N.C., two honorable mentions; and

Xia Raburn of Durham, N.C., an honorable mention.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program for artists and writers, 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.

The UNCSA 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 the UNCSA high school commencement in 2015.

Contact Media Relations

Get the best news, performance and alumni stories from UNCSA.

March 04, 2021