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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell Collins

The Scholastic Art Award, What is it?

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

Many Mishawaka High schools were once again in the top three schools in the region for visual arts in the Scholastic Art Award 2020. The winners were announced January 10th and on February 1st there is an exhibition of all accepted works located at the Warner and Community Galleries, and an award ceremony February 9th, located at the Century Center.

“It’s one of the most exciting parts about being in the art program at our school,” Izzy Barstow, MHS senior and Gold Key winner said.

The award system for this award consists of Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honourable Mentions, and American Vision and Voice Nomination. A Gold Key is the highest level award and is only awarded to 5-7% of regional submissions; those awarded with a Gold Key are all automatically considered for national level recognition. A Silver Key is awarded to 7-10% of all regional submissions. The Honourable Mention is given to students with particular artistic potential, given to about 10- 15% submissions. The American Vision and Voice Nomination are 5 works, hand picked from all Gold Key award submissions, these 5 pieces are considered the best of the show.

Ethan Sergeant, MHS senior, has won Gold Keys for the past 3 years for his comic book illustrations, and Izzy Barstow received a Gold Key last year that led to her going to nationals, and another gold this year for her piece “Boxwood Garden”.

Ryan’s students draw inspiration from many things and many places, it all depends on the piece they are creating. Ethan, for example, had multiple comic book entries, and he said that he was inspired by the idea of telling a story through art.

“I like to use my art, and skill to create things that are more spread out, in a narrative sense,” Ethan said.

Barstow on the other hand, submitted photography pieces into the competition, her inspiration for the “Boxwood Garden” was trying to capture different scenes in the same location.

“I thought it was really cool, like it added depth to [the location], and having scenes inside and trying to transform the surroundings was very fun,” Barstow said.

MHS tries their best to give the students as many opportunities as possible to help them further their career.

“All other schools in the area, they make the kids pay the entry fee. We put in a request with the Mishawaka Education Foundation and they pay the kids entrance fee,” Ryan Sergeant, MHS art teacher said.

But there is the concern that such a big art project could affect the students' schoolwork.

“AP Art is really concentrated on a few big pieces,” said Barstow.

“He (Ryan) does put more work on us in AP, he stresses that ‘you hit those deadlines’, but I feel it’s pretty easy to meet those deadlines,” Ethan said.

“I sometimes see students struggle to balance big art projects and school. In the normal art classes we try to set them up so they can complete something, and complete it well, in class. But the AP kids have some extra work they have to put in,” said Ryan.

“It’s hard (balancing school and art), especially with photography.” Barstow said.

“I absolutely feel like it’s easy to balance the two,” said Ethan.

The Scholastic Art Award is a great opportunity for many students, with costs covered and class time to work on it, it is something great that MHS is doing.

Make sure if you see any winners of this award you congratulate them for their hard work.

Izzy Barstow

Ethan Sergeant

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