Jan. 30, 2013/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu


WINSTON-SALEM – Visual Arts students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) won 29 gold keys, 13 silver keys, and six honorable mentions at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s most prestigious program for recognizing artists in grades 7 through 12.

Eleven students – one-third of those enrolled in UNCSA’s two-year Visual Arts Program -- won awards for paintings, drawings, sculptures, mixed-media works, and portfolio collections.

 “These young artists have demonstrated an enormous commitment to their craft, an undeniably disciplined work ethic, and the ability to respond to and grow from rigorous critical discourse,” said Will Taylor, Director of the Visual Arts Program.  “This is a tremendous level of success for our honored students, as well as our collective Visual Arts Program. The entire Visual Arts faculty is very proud.”

Joseph P. Tilford, Dean of the School of Design and Production, of which the Visual Arts Program is part, said there is no higher honor for high school artists. “We are extremely proud to have won 48 awards,” he said. “It is a wonderful reflection on our talented students and our top-notch faculty.”

The student award winners are:

·         Chelsea Bednar, 12th grade from Winston-Salem, two gold keys and two silver keys;

·         Hannah Bennett, 11th grade from Asheville, one gold key;

·         Anna Bumgarner, 12th grade from Hickory, one silver key;

·         Adam Dehus, 12th grade from Blowing Rock, one silver key;

·         Moyra Grem, 12th grade from Waxhaw, two silver keys and two honorable mentions;

·         Lillian Higgins, 12th grade from Greensboro, eight gold keys;

·         Virginia Li, 11th grade from Cary, two gold keys, two silver keys and one honorable mention;

·         Rachel Pendergrass, 12th grade from Pfafftown, three gold keys, three silver keys and one honorable mention;

·         Bailey Powell, 12th grade from Asheville, 13 gold keys and two silver keys;

·         Emma Whitlock, 12th grade from Germanton, one honorable mention;

·         Jennifer Xiao, 11th grade from Concord, one honorable mention.


The regional competition of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards was held Jan. 12 at Barton College in Wilson. An awards ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3 at Barton College. The honored art work will be on exhibit at Barton Feb. 3 through 22.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards continues to be the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. Since 1923, Scholastic has identified the early promise of some of our nation’s most exceptional visionaries. Alumni include Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Cy Twombly, Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Redford. In the past five years, submissions have topped 700,000 works, and students have been eligible for more than $25 million in awards and scholarships.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.