Interlochen Arts Academy students have strong showing in the 2020 regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Interlochen Arts Academy students from six majors received an unprecedented 356 awards in the West Michigan division of the regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Visual Arts students received a total of 146 awards, including 130 individual awards and 16 portfolio awards. Forty-eight of the award-winning works received Gold Keys. A remarkable eight seniors received Gold Keys for their portfolios, and all 15 seniors enrolled in the Academy’s Thesis class received recognition for their portfolios. Gold Keys represent the best regional works submitted, and automatically place that piece in consideration for national-level recognition.

Creative Writing students received a total of 195 awards, including 184 individual awards and 11 portfolio awards. All of the division’s seniors received at least one award, leading the division to a total of 65 Gold Keys, including four Gold Key portfolio awards. Creative writing students Stefania Bielkina, Olivia Johnson, Miracle Thornton, and Priyanka Voruganti claimed four out of five American Voices nominations for the West Michigan division—the competition’s best-in-show honor.

"The creative writing department is thrilled to see so many Interlochen students honored by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards,” said Director of Creative Writing Joe Sacksteder. “All of our students have worked so hard this year, and we are very proud of their accomplishments."

Students from five other majors also received accolades in the creative writing division of the competition, which includes categories for academic writing. Both Creative Writing and academic faculty served as advisors for many of these awards. Three Music Division students—trombonist Iris Brondz, harpist Maya Lai, and singer-songwriter Ava Goldfarb—won a total of six awards, including three Gold Keys. Theatre students Grace Adams Ward, Kennedy Birtcher, Scout Carter, Dilara Naska, and Grayson Yuzon received six awards for personal essays, dramatic scripts, and short stories. Visual artists Colleen Ryan, Amanda Jaime, and Xueer Wang each added an award in creative writing to their visual arts accolades. Senior Gracie Marcellus brought home five awards—one Gold Key, one Silver Key, and three Honorable Mentions—for the Motion Picture Arts division. Dance student Cait Belland received a Silver Key.

Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) serves as the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Affiliate Partner for the West Central Michigan Writing Region. KCAD is responsible for processing and judging all regional submissions. All Gold and Silver Key-winning works will be displayed in a special exhibition at KCAD in Grand Rapids, Michigan from Feb. 11-29. An awards ceremony for the winners will be held at KCAD on Feb. 29 at 3 p.m. Gold Key winners will advance to the national level of the competition for further adjudication; results of the national judging will be announced in mid-March.

Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to recognize and celebrate the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth. Each year, young artists in grades 7-12 are invited to submit their works in 29 different categories of art and writing for the chance to earn scholarships and exhibition opportunities.

Congratulations to all our winning students!

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