Students receive regional writing and art awards


Madison White

In this year’s Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, senior Zain Khan received a Gold Key for his painting entitled “Mom”. Khan drew influence from baroque artist Caravaggio by focusing on the lighting technique utilized in his work.

Jessie Larrinaga, Staff Writer

Several students submitted works to the Scholastic Art and Writing contest and four received Gold Key awards, meaning that their works will be sent on to the national competition.  

Senior Katherine Valenti submitted works for the humor category, which required a portfolio of several pieces in addition to the story being judged specifically. 

“I just wanted to do it because the humor writing category was really fun,” Valenti said. “It really reassured me that I have good ideas when I won.” 

Junior Brandon Lovinger received a writing award for a short story called “The Hallway.” 

“I want to be an author eventually, and one of my friends suggested that I enter the competition, and I really wanted to get into it,” Lovinger said. “I actually had my phone off for class, and when I turned it on, I got like a million messages from people saying, ‘Oh my god!’ It was definitely rewarding, and I felt really good about it because in writing there’s not a lot of opportunities at a young age … so getting the opportunity felt really good.” 

The process that the students created works varied, and some students looked to others for assistance with their submissions. 

“Ms. Cowart, my English teacher, helped me go through edits in my story,” Lovinger said. “She really was a big help throughout that process.” 

Senior Adam Jones won a drawing and illustration award for his piece “Constricted”, which was a morph of four animals.  

Madison White
Depicting four animals morphed together, senior Adam Jones’ piece “Constricted” receives a Gold Key Scholastic Art and Writing Award under the category of drawing and illustration. This was Jones’ second year participating in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

“I wanted to showcase a piece that I put a lot of detail work into, a lot of intricacies, which showed my technical side as opposed to a lot of my other work which is more lucid and abstract,” Jones said. “I think that winning was indication that my work was received well. I’ve achieved my goal of getting my art out there which is great.” 

Art teacher Brian Taylor required that his Advanced Placement students participate in the contest. 

“It’s extremely important,” Taylor said. “Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are probably the most prestigious competition, not just locally, but across the nation. It’s been around for 40 years and lots of great artists like Andy Warhol and others have been included throughout their career in the awards.” 

Senior Zain Khan entered the painting category and submitted a portrait of his mother which manipulated chiaroscuro, an effect of contrasted light and shadow. This effect can be created by using different paints to light and shade.  

“I was focused on my technique, which was inspired by the Baroque artist Caravaggio,” senior Zain Khan said. “If you look at his art you can see chiaroscuro, which I wanted to use.” 

Looking onward to the national competition, the winning students wait to hear the results in March. 

“I just wait for the results, which is exciting,” Valenti said. “I don’t have super high expectations or anything, I’m just happy I got awarded, because I did it for fun.”