Art students enter into scholastic art competition for judging

Take home multiple Gold, Silver Keys

Myrna Cross, In-Depth Editor

For the past several years, LT art students have been submitting their creative pieces to the Scholastic Art and Writing competition, the largest and longest running national competition for high school students in the visual arts. The regional exhibition was hosted by Downers Grove North High School, and was on display from Jan. 29 through Feb. 3. 

Students were able to submit to multiple different categories, such as drawing, painting, film, and animation. Students also had the option to submit portfolios, and overall, 83 portfolios were submitted for judging. The students in LT’s art department were able to get five accepted into the show. First works are submitted to the regional judging, and whoever is awarded the Gold Key is moved on to New York for further judging. If a student wins this, they are granted the National Award, the most prestigious award possible for visual arts students. 

The judging is categorized into three different sections: Gold Key, Silver Key, and honorable mentions. Out of 140 students who submitted a piece and/or portfolio to the competition, LT took home multiple awards in each category. Overall, there were three Gold Key portfolio winners, two Silver Key portfolio winners, 13 honorable mentions, and 37 Gold and Silver Key winners for individual pieces. 

Art teacher Patrick Page is incredibly proud of his students and all the hard work and effort they put into this competition, he said. 

“If you get recognized, it’s nice, but the goal is that they learned they can do this,” Page said.  “They learned that they can push themselves, and challenge themselves, and that’s an accomplishment. Our goal is that they’re well prepared, that they know what they’re doing and have a good work ethic. They proved to themselves they can do this.”

Out of the many students that submitted their portfolios and individual pieces, Alyssa Iovinelli ‘23 took home four Gold Keys, three Silver Keys, and five honorable mentions. She won awards in drawing, printmaking, and mixed media. 

One of the pieces was inspired by her little sister, Iovinelli said. Titled “A Child’s Imagination Never Stops Growing,” this altarpiece consisted of five different colored pencil drawings that all connect to tell a story. The center piece is a highly detailed drawing of her little sister, and three surrounding drawings of the life cycle of a butterfly, with the artwork’s title being lifted up by two fairies.
“I wanted to show how, as children, we like to pretend we are in a fantasy world to escape reality, and our imagination continues to grow as we get older,” Iovinelli said. 

Because she often has a hard time stepping out of her comfort zone when it comes to art, she was pleasantly surprised to be recognized in multiple different categories, she said. 

“Since this is such a competitive show, I was unbelievably thankful for all the awards I got, and I practically shrieked in my house when I found out about the awards,” Iovinelli said. 

Another LT student who won multiple awards in different categories was Lindsey Wilson ‘23, who won three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and three honorable mentions. She received the Gold Key for multiple pieces, such as an acrylic painting of New Orleans, a mixed media piece of a box that represents finding joy in times of stress, and a portfolio of pen drawings in different forms. Once she found out about the competition back in the beginning of the year, she knew she wanted to push herself, she said. 

“I was indescribably proud of myself because I knew I deserved it,” Wilson said. “I have never worked harder on anything in my life and it showed through. Finding out I had been awarded multiple Gold Keys sent me into shock. Knowing that the projects I loved creating also had meaning and worth to others was an incredible feeling.” 

The art students this year went above and beyond and even exceeded previous years in terms of numbers of awards, Page said. 

“It’s a really big bonding experience to be able to pull this off every year,” Page said. “I’m really proud of what they did.”