BY ANJANA MURALI —
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are part of a prestigious recognition program for teen artists and writers in the US. This program started in 1923 and has had a notable past winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King and John Updike. Luminaries of the visual and literary arts judge all of the submissions and look for originality, technical skill and vision.
This year, the competition started accepting digital submissions, making the process easier than it had been in the past. “We were well organized this year and got everything done beforehand,” said Sonja Juffer, art teacher.
SHS has done the scholastic competition for six years now and this year there were eleven submissions from Shorewood that were recognized as gold key, silver key or honorable mention winners. Gold and silver key winners will have their pieces displayed at the Milwaukee Art Museum from February 1 through March 16. “I think it’s a really nice way to receive recognition and I think it’s a real honor to have your work down at the art museum [because] it’s just a wonderful display,” Juffer said. “A lot of people that I’ve talked [to] say that it’s their favorite show at the museum.”
“Sometimes you look at your students’ work and you look at some of the other things that got into the show … It’s a toss up sometimes, you don’t really understand why people’s work [doesn’t] get in … you think there is a lot more strength [in your own students’ works],” Juffer said.
Izzi Doherty, junior, was recognized as a gold key winner this year. “I was surprised more than anything. I’ve never entered Scholastic before,” Doherty said. Doherty’s artwork was of “a headless man holding a child with no arms on a leash and their shadows were all weird-looking. It sounds really weird but when you see it, it kind of makes sense,” Doherty said.
Her submission was a reinterpretation of a piece that she did over the summer. The paper that she originally chose to create it on “wasn’t very good and I just wanted to redo it, so I did it on cardboard and made some changes [to the piece],” Doherty said. “I thought it was pretty good so I sent it in and apparently they liked it.”
Marcus Hoffman, junior, has entered the scholastic competition twice. Hoffman was a gold key winner last year and was even recognized at the national level. “It was very good recognition,” Hoffman said, “it’s nice seeing your own work on a gallery wall … this will probably never happen again.” This year, Hoffman was an Honorable Mention winner. Hoffman said his winning submission “is not really supposed to be anything … it’s just a little graphic, a portrait of some person.”
“What I appreciate about this [program] is the recognition for the student work because they are the ones that have done the work,” Juffer said.