Art students from across Southwest Virginia have been recognized through the Scholastic Art Awards for 2022
By Heather Bell
Winners of the 2022 Scholastic Art Awards for the Southwest Region of Virginia have been announced by the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley.
Two John Dalton Intermediate School eighth graders, students of art teacher Kristy Bryant, were award winners. Maggie Bolling won a Gold Key Award for her mixed media piece “Mushrooms,” and Sienna Carter won an Honorable Mention for her “Young Skelly” mixed media piece.
Radford High School ninth grader Trent Hollandsworth, a student of art teacher Savannah Leeman, won a Gold Key Award for his oil painting “Lonely Crowds.”
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are the country’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7–12 and are sponsored by the nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. The Fine Arts Center serves as the Affiliate Partner for the Scholastic Art Awards for the Southwest Region.
“Despite the challenges art teachers have faced – all teachers actually – over the past two years, we were so delighted to have so many exemplary entries from across the region,” said Becky Lattuca, Executive Director of the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley in announcing the Radford winners to RCPS Superintendent Robert Graham. “Your students and art teachers have done a remarkable job over the past year to produce such high quality work.”
More than 400 art works were submitted for judging this year. Award categories include Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mention, and five top awards referred to as the American Visions Nominations. Approximately 30 percent of the entries qualify for awards, and the top 5-10 percent from each region move forward to compete in national judging. Last year, The Alliance provided more than $37,000 in scholarships and awards to art students. This year’s national winners should be announced on March 17.
In Southwest Virginia, students represented schools from Blacksburg, Buchanan, Chatham Hall, Christiansburg, Daleville, Fincastle, Floyd, Lexington, Pulaski County, Radford, Riner, Roanoke, Rural Retreat, and Salem, Virginia, as well as some home-schooled students and a student who attends the Virtual Virtual Academy. An online gallery of the award-winning art is available on the Fine Arts Center’s website at FACNRV.org/scholastic-2022. The Center will also exhibit student winners at the Center located at 21 West Main Street in historic downtown Pulaski beginning on February 8 and culminating with an awards reception for the student artists, their families, and their teachers on March 27.
This year, the top five awards in the Southwest Virginia region went to Fiona Aquilo who is homeschooled and her art teacher is Lisa Aquilo; Carys DeRolf from Glenvar High School who earned two American Visions nominees and whose teacher is Stephen Graves; Cedar Krisch from Blacksburg High School, whose teacher is Katy Dryman; and Emalyn Sylvester-Johnson from the Burton Center for Arts & Technology in Salem, whose teacher is Natalie Strum. These five pieces and all of the Gold Key winners are now entered into the national competition with a chance for scholarships and additional awards. A celebration of the national winners is planned at a special awards ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City in June 2022.
The Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley has been the official affiliate of the Scholastic Art Awards for Southwest Virginia for nearly 20 years. In 2021, the Fine Arts Center was honored with the Gold Key for Excellence in the Field by the Alliance for their management of the program. For more information about the Fine Arts Center, please visit our website at FACNRV.org.
More information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards can be found by visiting the Scholastic News Room at artandwriting.org.