Artists sweep Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Asia Porter | Staff Writer

The work of Mason High School’s art students is receiving national attention.

Ninety art students under Aaron Roberts, Audrey Gorman, Dale Conner, Daniel McKay, Tina Roberts, Pam Valentine, Karan Witham-Walsh, and Hannah Zimmerman were presented with Scholastic Art Awards and will have their work on display at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. The competition is open to middle and high school students with artwork ranging from Photography and Sculpture to Digital Art and Mixed Media.

Digital Art, Design and Animation teacher Aaron Roberts said students did extraordinarily well this year, with 25 percent of entries making it to the regional show.

“We’re usually maybe 40 or 50 winners, but I think we were around 90 this year,” Roberts said. “Usually about 15 percent of entries get in. We’re at 25 percent this year, marking an extremely successful year.”

The award winners are divided into three categories: Honorable Mention, Silver Key and Gold Key. Roberts said the qualifications for each level is determined by the judges each year but all are an honor.

“Honorable mention is often times given to works that they see being very creative or as the title implies, worth an honorable mention,” Roberts said. “Like they really want to give recognition to that piece even though it may not be as high up as a Silver Key or a Gold Key. The Silver Key is also a big honor. The Gold Key honor is like first place in the category.”

Screen-Shot-2015-12-09-at-2.51.07-PMThis cartoon by Visual Editor Madison Krell earned a Silver Key in the competition.

After entering for the first year, junior Lauren Fournier won a Gold Key for her piece Blue. Lauren said she was surprised because only a few people receive this honor.

“I was pretty surprised that I actually placed,” Fournier said. “I didn’t expect that at all. I checked the list of winners and I think it’s about 15 (students) that got Gold Key.”

All the winners will be featured in the regional art show, running from January 22 until February 6. Gold Key winners will have their artwork judged in front of a panel of judges in New York. Roberts said winners will be notified in the spring.

“Gold key category winners are also considered national qualifiers,” Roberts said.  “Those artworks are sent to New York to then be judged at the next round of judging by the national committee of judges. Usually over Spring Break we find out (who won).”

For a list of Mason’s 2016 art winners, click here. Once National Medalists have been announced, their work will be available to view here.