Interlochen Arts Academy students excel in 2023 regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

More than 100 students from all seven of the Academy’s artistic disciplines received recognition—including nine of the ten top prizes—in the prestigious competition.

“Maya,” a Gold Key-winning mixed media work by Visual Arts major Marlene Schwier

“Maya,” a Gold Key-winning mixed media work by Visual Arts major Marlene Schwier. Note: This image has been cropped to fit this space.

106 Interlochen Arts Academy students from all seven of the school’s artistic disciplines earned 469 awards—including nine of the top-ten prizes—in the 2023 West Central Michigan regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The West Central Michigan regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are adjudicated by Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design. Winning works receive one of three levels of commendation—Honorable Mention, Silver Key, or Gold Key—and will be featured in an online exhibition which will open on Feb. 10, 2023. Awards will be presented during a ceremony at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 3, 2023. Gold Key-winning works automatically advance to the national level of the competition for consideration for additional prizes and scholarship awards of up to $10,000.

31 Creative Writing majors received a total 225 awards, including 60 Honorable Mentions, 79 Silver Keys, and 86 Gold Keys. Abigail Conklin, Annalise Harter, Elizabeth Keller, and Morgan Spencer received Gold Keys for their writing portfolios. Yuanxin Ma, a sophomore from Beijing, China, received awards in both creative writing and visual arts award categories, including two Honorable Mention awards and two Silver Keys for her visual artwork and three Gold Keys for her written works.

Visual Arts students earned 182 awards: 68 Honorable Mention awards, 61 Silver Keys, and 53 Gold Keys. Celia Goldstein, Kyle Lynch, Daria Nagrebelna, and Maisie Ward received Gold Key awards for their art portfolios.

The Academy’s other five majors were also represented in the competition.

Dance student Lindy Sloan earned a Silver Key for her personal essay “California Dreamin’”.

Film & New Media students received recognition in both written and visual disciplines. The seven winners earned a total 12 awards: Eight visual arts awards (one Honorable Mention, two Silver Keys, and five Gold Keys) and four creative writing awards (two Honorable Mentions and two Silver Keys).

Eight Interdisciplinary Arts students were also among the honorees, taking home five visual arts prizes (four Honorable Mentions and one Gold Key) and six creative writing awards (three Honorable Mentions, two Silver Keys, and three Gold Keys).

Music students Macy Kiger, Mia Kohn, and Hannah Stone combined for four Honorable Mention awards and two Silver Keys, all in creative writing categories.

Ten Theatre students representing all three of the division’s tracks—Acting, Musical Theatre, and Design & Production—received a total of 23 awards. The winners earned five awards for visual artwork (four Honorable Mentions and one Gold Key) and 18 awards for written works (10 Honorable Mentions, four Silver Keys, and four Gold Keys).

Academy students also took home all five of the region’s American Voices Award nominations and four of the region’s five American Visions Award nominations. The competition’s highest honors at the regional level, the American Voices and American Visions nominations are awarded to the region’s top-five works of literature and art, respectively. National jurors will select one American Voices Award winner and one American Visions Award winner from each of the competition’s regions.

The American Voices Award-nominated works are:

  • “The Art of War” by Interdisciplinary Arts major Samantha Epstein
  • “From the Winter Sufjan Stevens’ Ghost Haunted Me” by Creative Writing major Kaydance Rice
  • “On Droughts” by Interdisciplinary Arts major Olivia Babovic
  • “On the Subject of Constellations and Fish” by Creative Writing major Isabella Rotker
  • “Personality Quiz for my Brother” by Creative Writing major Xime Silva.

The American Visions Award-nominated works, all created by Visual Arts majors, are:

  • “Noetic” by Campbell Cronk
  • “Nuisance” by Holland Haeck
  • “Premonition” by Cindy Wang
  • “Show Me the Winner” by Daria Nagrebelna

Founded in 1923 by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards identify students with exceptional talents in the written and visual arts and provide opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. The competition is open to young artists in grades 7-12 (ages 13 and up) and welcomes works in 28 categories of art and writing. Notable alumni of the competition include author Stephen King, artist Andy Warhol, actor/director Robert Redford, actor Lena Dunham, director/producer Ken Burns, and poet Amanda Gorman.