South prepares for Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

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Anna Johnson '21

A piece by Anna Johnson ’21 submitted to the Scholastic Art Fair. Johnson won a Silver Key Award last year.

Becca Koch '22, Web Editor

Every year, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards bring together talented high school artists from around the country to display their art and celebrate their accomplishments. This year, the contest looks different but will still continue, albeit in an altered format.
Art teacher Micki Cecil said there are several different levels to the competition and the awards students can win. She said students can earn a Gold Key, a Silver Key, or an honorable mention from the judges.
“At the regional level, it goes by counties,” Cecil said. “Our students at South are competing with the rest of the schools in Wayne County for the competition. (Pieces) are usually on display at the College for Creative Studies, but this year, it will be virtual.”
Cecil said the deadline has been pushed up to December 15 and has contributed to a lot of unknowns.
“I don’t know what the turnaround time is going to be,” Cecil said. “Typically, we would submit in the beginning of January, and we would find out in about three weeks or so. With them pushing the deadline forward, I don’t know when we will find out.”
Ellie Martin ’22 swon a Silver Key for one of her pieces last year, along with an honorable mention. She said the acknowledgement is one of the most rewarding parts of the contest.
“For me, it’s just being recognized by your work and seeing what other people have done,” Martin said. “The exhibition shows a range of different pieces of different mediums. I think it’s really fun to see others’ work and celebrate art in general.”
Anna Johnson ’21 has submitted work to the contest before and won a Silver Key last year. She said choosing the pieces to submit can be challenging.
“I actually talked to Mrs. Cecil about which one she thinks best represent my skills,” Johnson said. “But the best pieces aren’t necessarily the ones you like the most. My piece that won a Silver Key last year was probably my least favorite.”
Johnson said her background as a flutist helped her create her artwork. Some of her pieces she is submitting are inspired by the music she is currently playing and learning.
“I’m not just an artist, I’m primarily a musician,” Johnson said. “That’s what I’m going into, and my art is mostly inspired by some of the music I play.I use it as a coping mechanism for anything stressing me out.”
Martin said despite some art classes struggling because of not being in school, her overall process hasn’t changed much from last year.
“I think it’s mostly just me working from home instead of me working at school,” Martin said. “There is a limit on materials, but thankfully I do have enough at home to work with and the school has given us materials.”
Cecil said that at the end of the day, she just wants to see her students produce and submit art that is truly theirs.