Photo by L. Vereen
Art can be used as a form of expression for young people. The National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is the nation’s longest running prestigious scholarship and recognition program for young writers and artists from 7-12th grade. Founded in 1923, this competition allows students to compete with their creative talents against other students all over the nation and to have their skills viewed by a national audience.
Art teacher Margaret Reidy thinks that the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards allows students to present their handwork and creativity.
“This is a great way for students to have their artistic voices amplified and to build a resume of awards and recognitions that will help them get into college and build careers in art or design,” Reidy said.
Teens have the opportunity to submit into any of the 30 categories that vary from poetry to digital art. Teens can enter the art of writing awards by creating an account on the Scholastic Art and Writing website. Then, applicants must pay an entry fee to submit their work and are eligible to compete for various awards.
Virginia McEnerney, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artist and Writers, views the awards as a legacy of teens facilitating important dialogue through their art.
“For 96 years, the Awards have recognized the creative compromise of individuals,” McEnerney said.
Two students at Spartanburg High School received art awards in this year’s competition. Lydia Vereen (12) and Erika Mendez Cortez (?) both received Silver Key Awards for their artwork. Vereen became more confident in her artwork last year when she took painting with now-retired art teacher Cindy Goforth and was encouraged to take AP Art this year. Vereen’s painting “Shaving Time” is supposed to show the small mundane tasks that elderly people perform while their grandchildren are away.
“I wanted to paint a picture for my grandfather, and I needed pictures of older people doing smaller actions and he sent me that picture,” Vereen said.
The National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards offer teens various scholarships to venture on and utilize their artistic and literary talents.