A Pershing Middle School 8th grader is among four Houston Independent School District students are among the winners of the 2009 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
HISD’s winners were Ruth Lin, an Advanced Art student, who won a gold medal for her drawing Scout; Andrea Nguyen, from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, who won a silver medal for her art portfolio; Alexandra Pintus, from Westside High School, who won a gold medal for her painting, Unforeseen Motherhood; and Katey Qualls, from West Briar Middle School, who won a silver medal for a monotype. The award ceremony for these winners will be held at Carnegie Hall in early June.
“I enjoyed drawing Scout and I am looking forward to going to Carnegie Hall,” said Lin.
Across the country more than 140,000 works of art and writing were submitted to The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2009 by students in grades 7–12. The Awards are the nation’s longest-running and largest program for creative teenagers in the visual and literary arts.
Each work is reviewed by a panel of arts professionals for the following criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice. The prestigious awards signify to parents, teachers, community, and colleges that a student is an accomplished artist or writer.
“Both the gold and silver awards are presented to young artists whose work demonstrates exceptional merit worthy of national level recognition. Very few 7th or 8th grade pieces make it through as gold keys regionally. So it is certainly mind-boggling to think that their art was chosen from thousands from across the United States,” said Eileen McClellan, art teacher at West Briar. “I feel extremely proud of my students’ accomplishments. I enjoy watching them as they develop throughout the year. But this additional recognition gives the student a definite boost in confidence. I see a more self-assured individual who is more willing to take risks and grow.”
Katey Qualls, McClellan’s student who won the Scholastic Silver Medal/National level for her monotype, also currently has a piece hanging at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). Her piece was among 24 chosen to be framed and hung for the Youth Art Month celebration. That exhibit will be on display through June 28 on the lower level of the Jones Building, on the wall outside the Kinder Education Center.