Weston Teen Named 'Promising, Creative'

Young artists, writers will receive exhibition, publication opportunities; access to more than $8 million in scholarships.

Art by Kasem Kydd. Courtesy
Art by Kasem Kydd. Courtesy

The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers has announced the national winners of the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country's longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative students in grades 7–12. Sixteen high school seniors received the highest Scholastic Art & Writing Awards honor, the Portfolio Gold Medal, which includes a $10,000 cash scholarship. In addition, all National Award–winning high school seniors are now eligible to apply for a special pool of more than $8 million in scholarships, set aside specifically for them through partnerships with the Alliance and esteemed colleges and universities around the country.

Recipients of the 2014 Portfolio Gold Medal Awards are: Tyra Abraham, age 17 of New York, NY; Hanel Baveja, 17, Ann Arbor, MI; Ellie Braun, 17, Richmond, VA; Brandon Brooks, 18, Charlotte, NC;Madison Brownson, 18, Interlochen, MI; Nathan Cummings, 18, Mercer Island, WA; Shannon Daniels, 17, New York, NY; Jonathan Gelernter, 17, New Haven, CT; Emma Hastings, 17, Alexandria, VA; Kasem Kydd, 17, Weston, MA; Haley Lee, 16, Scottsdale, AZ; Jack Rayson, 18, Nashville, TN;Lisa Su, 18, Towson, MD; Jackson Trice, 17, Greenville, SC; Patrick Zapien, 18, Houston, TX; andLuis Zepeda, 18, West Palm Beach, FL. Additional scholarship awards were provided by the National Constitution Center, Bloomberg L.P., Gedenk Movement, 3D Systems and Duck Tape®. Other national honors include Portfolio Silver Medals with Distinction, which also include a $1,000 scholarship; Gold and Silver Medals; and Best-in-Grade Awards, as well as honors for these remarkable students’ teachers. A complete list of national student winners is available here.


“The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards serve as clear validation of young artists’ and writers’ creative talent, persistence and promise in their respective fields,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the administrator of the Scholastic Awards. “It is our honor to share in these defining moments of achievement for our nation’s teens and to elevate their unbelievable talent on the local, regional and national levels. We see it as a privilege to support them on their journey to becoming artists, writers, designers, doctors, business owners or any aspiration they are determined to realize.”

This program year, a record-breaking 255,000+ works of art and writing were submitted to more than 100 affiliates of the Alliance for regional adjudication. Leading up to this announcement, students who received regional Gold and Silver Keys, as well as Honorable Mentions, have been celebrated in all corners of the country. More than 100,000 regional Award recipients’ families and friends gathered at local exhibitions, ceremonies and readings nationwide to recognize student works spanning the Scholastic Awards’ 28 categories, which include flash fiction, comic art, poetry, jewelry, science fiction and fantasy, sculpture, novel writing, video game design and a special category called “future new.”

From the outstanding pool of regional Gold Key recipients, an impressive panel of creative-industry experts chose more than 1,800 of the most talented students—representing 47 U.S. states as well as students in Washington, D.C. and American schools abroad—to receive national medals. These artists, authors, critics, educators and skilled professionals blindly judged works based on originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal vision or voice—the original three criteria of the program’s founding in 1923. This year's list of distinguished jurors included Andres Serrano (artist), Edwidge Danticat (writer), Michael Raisler (producer), Kay WalkingStick (artist), Jane Cohan (gallery owner), David Krasnow (“Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen”), Alison Elizabeth Taylor (artist) and Stephen Savage (illustrator).

To celebrate the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ national winners, the Alliance will kick off this year’s National Celebration in New York City on June 5, 2014 with the first annual Maker Prom—a party with interactive art-making stations—at the Roosevelt Hotel, as well as the grand opening of the Art.Write.Now. National Exhibition, a large selection of Award-winning art and writing that will be on display at Parsons The New School for Design and the Pratt Manhattan Gallery. On June 6, 2014, students will be honored during a special awards ceremony live-webcasted from the world-famous Carnegie Hall, where they will be joined onstage by this year’s Alumni Achievement Award Recipient, Kay WalkingStick, whose career retrospective will open in 2015 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Following the ceremony, the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Benefit will take place at The Edison Ballroom, and to further amplify the festivities that evening, the iconic Empire State Building will be lit in gold.

For 91 years, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibitions, publications and scholarships. Alumni of the Scholastic Awards have gone on to continue their education at many of the top colleges and universities across the country, including Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Parsons The New School for Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University and Columbia University. Since its founding, the Awards program has identified the early promise of some of our nation’s most exceptional visionaries, including alumni such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath and John Updike, all of whom won when they were teens. More recently, Stephen King, Myla Goldberg, Zac Posen and Lena Dunham have become celebrated alumni of the program.

The Alliance is grateful for its generous sponsors, who provide funds to support and produce the Awards: Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, The New York Times, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, The National Endowment for the Arts, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, 3D Systems, The Gedenk Movement, Golden Artist Colors, Bloomberg L.P., Amazon.com, the Bernstein Family Foundation, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Duck Tape® and additional contributions from numerous other individual, foundation and corporate funders. The Art.Write.Now exhibition and accompanying public programs are co-sponsored by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design.

For more information about the Alliance, visit www.artandwriting.org. Additional details about the Awards can be found in the Scholastic Media Room

Isabella Jancourtz March 20, 2014 at 07:03 AM
Congratulations, Kasem! What a wonderful and exciting award to win!


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