2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Teen Recipients Announced

Mike Barrett, mbarrett@scholastic.com, 212-343-6570
Josephine Djonovic, jdjonovic@scholastic.com, 212-343-6876

More than 2,500 Teens Nationwide Walk in the Footsteps of Program Alumni including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, Kay WalkingStick, Ken Burns, Stephen King, Paul Chan, Lena Dunham, Richard Linklater, Zac Posen, Luis Jiménez

16 High School Teens Receive Awards’ Highest Honor and $10,000 Scholarship; Overall Awards Provide More than $300,000 Annually to Creative Teens

NEW YORK, NY – March 14, 2017 –The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers today announced the national award recipients of the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. Within the Awards’ 29 categories, which include poetry, photography, sculpture, humor, editorial cartoons, and video game design, a record-breaking 330,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level this year. A complete list of the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national recipients is available at http://www.artandwriting.org/2017NationalMedalists

Interview (audio and video for media usage): Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, talks about the importance of the Awards, its 94-year history, and its notable alumni of creative leaders: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/artandwriting?per=////20170314//img/ArtWriting2017/#downloads.

“Our wonder and amazement at the creative output of our country’s youth —and the dedication of our extraordinary educators—never ceases, and this year is no exception,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the nonprofit organization that presents the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. “The young people being recognized today for the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are to be celebrated for their creative and critical thinking, their bravery in telling their own stories on their own terms, and their inventiveness in recording and recreating their worlds. Watch closely, because among this 2,500 are members of the next generation of great American artists and writers.”

2017 Gold Medal Portfolio Recipients:
Sixteen high school seniors received the program’s highest national honor, the Gold Medal Portfolio, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.

  • Zainab Adisa, age 17, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Zara Batalvi, age 16, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Rachel Campos, age 18, Peru, Indiana
  • Carissa Chen, age 17, Exeter, New Hampshire
  • Hailee Cook, age 17, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Megan Cox, age 17, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Benjamin Cruz, age 17, Idyllwild, California
  • Kate Forer, age 17, Carbondale, Illinois
  • Seth Gozar, age 17, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Chasity Hale, age 18, Miami, Florida
  • Keiji Ishida, age 17, Los Angeles, California
  • Bronwyn Katz, age 18, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Elizabeth Lee, age 18, Boise, Idaho
  • Jonathan Maldonado, age 17, Bronx, New York
  • Alixandra Wilens, age 17, Bellmore, New York
  • Sam Zanowski, age 18, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

2017 Special Scholarships:

  • The New York Life Foundation Award provides six $1,000 scholarships to students whose work exemplifies how the arts can act as a positive outlet to cope with loss and death, and whose work raises public awareness of the issue of youth bereavement. This year’s recipients are: Gabrielle Broome, age 16, New York, New York; Benjamin Cruz, age17, Idyllwild, California; Alison Gaarsland, age 16, Fargo, North Dakota; Melissa Lu, age 17, Exeter, New Hampshire; Alexa Russell, age 15, Pryor, Oklahoma; and Raymond Tang, age 17, Warren, New Jersey.
  • The second-annual Editorial Cartoon category, sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation, celebrates the legacy of four-time Pulitzer Prize–winning political cartoonist Herb Block and his remarkable contribution to American history and free expression. The three teen artists who received The Herb Block Award for Editorial Cartoon, a $1,000 scholarship for their outstanding drawings, illustrations, or animations offering commentary on current events or political topics, are: Gabriel Chez, age 16, Miami, Florida; Gillian Maurer, age 18, Asheville, North Carolina; and Patricia Patalinjug, age 15, Nutley, New Jersey.
  • The RBC “Flaunt It” Award, sponsored by RBC Capital Markets, is a $1,000 scholarship that celebrates teens’ outstanding work, whether in art or writing, that explores the theme: “The things that make me different, make me, me.” This year’s recipients are: Anushka Nair, age 16, Hinsdale, Illinois and Lindsay Pierce, age 16, Washington, D.C.
  • The Neiman Marcus Awards provide one $1,000 scholarship for outstanding work in Fashion and one $1,000 scholarship for outstanding work in Jewelry. This year’s recipients are: Kimlan Pham, age 16, Southfield, Michigan (Jewelry) and and Bin Quan, age 18, Interlochen, Michigan (Fashion).
  • The Gedenk Award for Tolerance provides six $1,000 scholarships to work that addresses the Gedenk Movement’s mission, reflecting on lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides, and increasing tolerance in the world. This year’s recipients are: Nasim Dalirifar, age 17, Carrollton, Texas; Anlan Du, age 16, Andover, Massachusetts; Rachel Jibilian, age 19, Emmaus, Pennsylvania; Suzan Kim, age 17, Hackensack, New Jersey; Christina Lewis, age 15, North Charleston, South Carolina; Grace Li, age 15, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
  • Additional Awards and scholarships for students are made possible through the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and The New York Times.

National Events (New York City):

  • June 8: National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall: The Gold Portfolio, Gold Medal, and Silver Medal with Distinction students across the nation will be honored at Carnegie Hall with appearances by notable celebrities and creative leaders.
  • June 2-12: Art.Write.Now.2017 National Exhibition: More than 1,000 of the top Scholastic Art & Writing Awards visual and literary works will be on display for the public at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design at The New School and Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York City.

Judging Criteria:
All art and writing submissions are judged based on the program’s three criteria: originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice. Student works are first adjudicated regionally through the more than 100 local Affiliates of the Alliance. Students receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Visions & Voices Nominations are celebrated within their communities through local exhibitions and ceremonies. Gold Key works are then judged nationally by an impressive panel of creative-industry experts to receive Gold, Silver, American Visions & Voices, Portfolio Silver with Distinction or Portfolio Gold Medals.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are made possible through the generosity of Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, New York Life Foundation, The Herb Block Foundation, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, Gedenk Movement, Royal Bank of Canada, Golden Artist Colors, Neiman Marcus, Bloomberg Philanthropies, ESA Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Circle, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Amazon Literary Partnerships, and numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Library of Congress, the Poetry Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets.

For more information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, visit artandwriting.org. Additional details about the Awards can be found in the Scholastic media room.