2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Teen Recipients Announced

Contact: Brittany Sullivan, bsullivan@scholastic.com, 212-343-4848

More Than 2,800 Teens Nationwide Receive National Recognition from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers in 2018; 16 High School Students Receive Awards’ Highest Honor and $10,000 Scholarship

Marc Brown, Emmy® Award-Winning Children’s Author, Illustrator, and Creator of Arthur, to Receive Alumni Achievement Award at Carnegie Hall June 7th

NEW YORK, NY – March 13, 2018 – The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers today announced the national award recipients of the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. This honor opens doors for students by providing access to future scholarship programs and workshops, the ability to have work publically displayed in the Art.Write.Now.2018 National Exhibition, and the opportunity to attend the week-long national celebration in New York City, which includes a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 7. To learn more, and to find a complete list of the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national recipients, visit: www.artandwriting.org.

Within the Awards’ 29 categories—which include poetry, photography, sculpture, humor, editorial cartoons, and video game design—a record-breaking 346,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level this year.

2018 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.

Gold Portfolios, Art:

  • Alia Bringas-Brand, age 17, Interlochen, MI
  • Maya Dixon, age 17, Bronx, NY
  • Zaria Dudley, age 17, Wahiawa, HI
  • Fletcher Johnson, age 17, Petersburg, VA
  • Mackie Mallison, age 18, Portland, OR
  • Emily Shonk, age 17, Gnadenhutten, OH
  • Christopher Velez, age 17, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Jiahong Wang, age 18, Irvine, CA

Gold Portfolios, Writing:

  • Vicky Brown, age 17, Greenville, SC
  • Kush Dhungana, age 17, Livingston, NJ
  • Malachi Jones, age 17, North Charleston, SC
  • Sarena Kuhn, age 17, Los Alamitos, CA
  • Osarugue Otebele, age 16, Memphis, TN
  • Alexandra Swerdloff, age 17, Boise, ID
  • Sam Wachman, age 17, Cambridge, MA
  • Triniti Wade, age 17, Miami, FL

Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers: “Today is a momentous day for more than 2,800 creative teens as they receive national recognition in the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. For 95 years, the Awards have identified the creative promise of visionaries like Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, Kay WalkingStick, and Zac Posen. The students being recognized today join a legacy of teens facilitating important dialogue through their art and writing. We celebrate these innovative teens as members of the next generation of great American artists and writers.”

Marc Brown, Arthur creator, author, and illustrator and 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Award Alumni Achievement Award Recipient: “It is an honor to receive this year’s Alumni Achievement Award from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. I vividly remember how important it was for me to be recognized in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards as a junior high student in Erie, Pennsylvania because it was one of the very few validations I received as a developing artist—and it still profoundly affects me today. The impact of this national recognition is undeniable and I can’t wait to see where it takes these exceptionally talented students as they continue on their creative journeys.”

2018 Special Scholarships

  • The New York Life Foundation Award: Provides six scholarships of $1,000 each to students whose work exemplifies how the arts can act as a positive outlet to cope with grief, and raises public awareness of the issue of youth bereavement. This year’s recipients are: Danelle Antelo, age 17, Miami, FL; Perry Chen, age 17, San Diego, CA; Meghan Hayfield, age 17, St. James, NY; Emily Holtzman, age 16, Charlotte, NC; Clio Smith, age 16, Folsom, CA; and Kendall Vorhis, age 17, Goose Creek, SC.
  • The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon: Sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation, the Editorial Cartoon category celebrates the legacy of four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Herb Block and his remarkable contribution to American history and free expression. Three teen artists each receive $1,000 scholarships for their outstanding drawings, illustrations, or animations offering commentary on current events or political topics. This year’s recipients are: Javier Gutierrez, age 18, Burbank, IL; Joy Han, age 15, Corvallis, OR; and Brandon Li, age 16, Skillman, NJ.
  • Civic Expression Award: In partnership with the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, this new award recognizes students with $1,000 scholarships for original art or writing that demonstrates civic knowledge and skills. The six recipients whose work highlights awareness of American civic rights and responsibilities are: Lillian Benkoil, age 17, New York, NY; Evelyn DiSalvo, age 17, Atlanta, GA; Ashley Hajimirsadeghi, age 17, Towson, MD; Sydney Jones, age 17, Edgewood, KY; Rachel Whitbeck, age 17, Monticello, NY; and Nathan Zhao, age 16, Wayland, MA.
  • Additional Awards and scholarships for students are made possible through the support of Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Command Web Offset, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, The New York Times, The Roome Fund, and Scholastic Inc.

National Events (New York, NY)

  • June 7, National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall: The national Gold Portfolio, Gold Medal, and Silver Medal with Distinction recipients will be honored at Carnegie Hall, with appearances by notable celebrities and creative leaders.
  • June 1–10, Art.Write.Now.2018 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.

About the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the national nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and are made possible through the generosity of Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, New York Life Foundation, The Herb Block Foundation, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, Golden Artist Colors, 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 Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Poetry Foundation.

For more information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, visit www.artandwriting.org. Additional details about the Awards can be found in the Scholastic media room: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.


(VIDEO DOWNLOAD: click to watch in a new tab; right-click Save As to download)

2018 Scholastic Art & Writing judges Marc Brown, Blanka Amezkua, Kiki Wolfkill, Juan Travieso, and Akosua Adoma Owusu discuss this year’s national recipients and reflect on the 95-year history of the Awards and their impact on creative teens.