The 2011 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall Honors the Nation’s Best Teen Artists and Writers


American conceptual artist John Baldessari to be presented with the
2011 Alumni Achievement Award by fellow alum, artist David Salle

Celebration to include special recognition from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk


New York, NY — May 23, 2011— The country's most talented teens will be honored at the 88th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, May 31st. American conceptual artist John Baldessari will be presented with the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award by fellow alum and his former student, world-renowned artist David Salle. Additionally, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, a juror of the video game design category of the 2011 competition, will deliver a special message to more than 800 teens and their families and teachers attending the celebration.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, run by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, is the oldest and most prestigious national program offering early recognition and scholarships to creative teenagers. This year's award-winning wor was selected out of more than 185,000 submissions in 29 categories including poetry, humor, novel writing and science fiction as well as painting, sculpture, photography, fashion design, film and animation, and video game design. Nearly 1,500 of the most talented students in grades 7-12, representing 45 states in the U.S., as well as students in American schools abroad, were chosen to receive national medals. A complete list of winners is available here.

In addition to the celebration at Carnegie Hall, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has declared May 31st the official Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Day and the top of the Empire State Building will be lit in gold in honor of the students’ achievements. The Awards program will be celebrated at a gala and fundraiser for the Alliance on June 1st when an exhibit of the student’s award-winning work opens at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery in Lower Manhattan. The exhibit will be open through June 19th.

"For decades, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have provided early recognition and support for teenagers who have gone on to become some of this country's most important artists," said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. "This celebration and exhibition not only offer a first glimpse of America's next generation of artists and writers, but also give the winners themselves a close-up look at the future creative careers awaiting them." Some of the distinguished past recipients, in addition to Baldessari and Salle, include Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Zac Posen, John Lithgow, Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, David Salle, and Philip Pearlstein who all received awards when they were in high school.

This year's winners include sixteen high school seniors who won the Portfolio Gold Award, the highest level of achievement that includes a $10,000 cash scholarship. In addition, 400 graduating seniors who received a national award are eligible for scholarships at more than 60 colleges, universities and art institutes across the country that provide $3.9 million in scholarships annually to help these young artists and writers pay for college. The teachers of top winners were also recognized with cash awards.

The work of the Alliance is made possible through the support of Scholastic Inc., the title sponsor; The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Inc.; Jack Kent Cooke Foundation; AMD Foundation; Command Web Offset Co.; The New York Times; Dick Blick Co.; Ovation; New York Life Foundation;; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

For more information on the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, visit the online press kit and to see a gallery of winning works, visit


Yanique Hart