Eagles submit art to regional competition

December 19, 2018

It’s that time of year again. Lights are strung on trees all through downtown, the Singers are practicing carols and the art students are preparing for Scholastics. 

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are currently taking submissions. Founded in 1923, Scholastics has hosted the art and writings of many famous creators during their youth, such as Andy Warhol, Stephen King and Zac Posen. 

Students from all over the state will enter drawings, paintings, animations, pottery and more for a chance for their art to be displayed at the TAC building.  

“Drawing and painting are huge categories,” Tanya Simmons, one of the Central art teachers, said, ”They have tons of entries, so it’s harder to get something in.” 

The full list of categories includes everything from industrial design to digital art to fashion to digital design. Nothing is off the table.  

Last year, Central students submitted 208 individual pieces and 7 senior-only portfolios. Central didn’t used to be able to submit so much, though, due to entrance fees. 

“We used to have a limit on the number of entries we could do because it costs money to enter,” Simmons said, “The school pays for it and we used to have a limit of 25 each but now Dr. Bennett basically says to do around the same number you did last year.” 

Each piece costs five dollars to submit and each portfolio is $20. Artists on free and reduced lunch get their works submitted without cost. 

“Teachers decide what goes … each teacher can submit artwork,” Simmons said. “I have AP 2-D classes and all those kids will probably submit portfolios … those kids will also probably submit quite a few individual entries.” 

It’s a very small number when compared to the 350 thousand works of art submitted to Scholastics from across the nation last year.  

The artists’ submissions are judged on originality, technical skill and “emergence of a personal vision or voice.” Submissions are assigned honorable mention, silver or gold level; artists achieving gold will have their work sent to national competition. 

“We had a couple of students that got something in nationally last year,” Simmons said. 

There are also multiple scholarships available to high-ranking artists. Last year, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards offered more than $10 million in scholarship money. 

Simmons also believes that the new addition, which is primarily space for art, music and a new library, will allow the Central art program to continue to grow. 

“Right now, we have four teachers and three classrooms, so it’s been kind of constricting at times,” Simmons said,” We’ve had to close classes because rooms may not be available or we don’t have enough teachers.” The addition will include four separate classrooms dedicated to art.  

While some may have preferred the money for the addition go into English or science, the Alumni Foundation requested that it be put towards the arts. 

“It’s amazing that they are giving us this,” Simmons said, “that they believe in the performing arts and visual arts so much … When people hear that it’s for the performing and visual arts and the library, I think people are usually surprised. It makes me feel a little guilty, but not too bad!”  

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards ceremony will be on March 2 and winning art will be exhibited in the TAC building from February 26 to March 29. 

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