Jefferson students participate in Scholastic Art and Writing Awards


Photo courtesy of MinJoo Kang.

“Three Women”, a piece by Jefferson senior MinJoo Kang was entered into the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The piece was a part of her art portfolio, which consisted of eight works.

Lilia Qian, Staff Writer

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is an annual event that students from schools around the country participate in. Artwork is submitted and judged first at the regional level, where many participants are awarded either a Gold Key, a Silver Key, or an Honorable Mention. Recipients of Gold Keys proceed to the national level of the competition where they are judged again.

Jefferson students entered the competition at the regional level in Jan. of 2016. Many participants received recognition for their artwork, in a variety of categories that include digital art, drawing and illustration, painting, design, jewelry, and comic art.

“[I entered] Behind the Scenes, my portfolio of eight pieces that I worked on throughout high school,” MinJoo Kang said. “My goal was to produce realistic depictions of various objects and subjects. For a couple of pieces, I tried experimenting with the use of chains. There’s one drawing where my hair is turning into chains to portray the idea of inner turmoil—how we struggle with it, and how we overcome it.”

Students enter their artwork through their school, although many work on their art independently. Some are introduced to Scholastic Art Awards through art studios that they work with.

“I go to this studio every Saturday, where people enter pieces for all sorts of competitions. Scholastic is pretty well known, and my teacher encouraged me to participate,” Kang said. “I’ve entered every year since seventh grade.”

Participating in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards has given some students the opportunity to learn and grow as artists.

“The most important lesson [I’ve learned] is that you’re always going to face disappointment, especially with these kinds of competitions where results are unpredictable and subjective. I have to remind myself that I’m doing art because I enjoy it,” Kang said.

For some, the competition has helped in maintaining a healthy motivation to pursue art.

“Sometimes it feels like I’m doing it just for the recognition, but that’s a really unhealthy way of going about it, and I have to redirect myself every time,” Kang said. “I’m doing this because I want to improve and share my work with people, not just because I want the prestige. This is for my own personal growth.”

Winners from Jefferson at the regional level include:

Name Category Title Award
Rachel Eom Drawing and Illustration Evolution of Ponderance Gold Key
MinJoo Kang Art Portfolio Behind the Scenes Gold Key
Jonathan Burkle Design Household EP Silver Key
MinJoo Kang Jewelry Free Silver Key
Jonathan Burkle Digital Art 72 Tings Honorable Mention
Jonathan Burkle Digital Art Household Honorable mention
Brenna Courtney Drawing and Illustration Brother Honorable Mention
Rachel Eom Drawing and Illustration I’m Ready Honorable Mention
Minjoo Kang Painting Coils Honorable Mention
MinJoo Kang Drawing and Illustration Three Women Honorable Mention
Michelle Cao Drawing and Illustration Night, Seattle Gold Key
Annam Khan Art Portfolio First Generation Hijabi Gold Key
Alvin Shi Digital Art Ice and Static Gold Key
Hayun Chong Painting Filtered Lights Silver Key
Jiaxuan Qin Painting Autumn Childhood Silver Key
Michelle Cao Drawing and Illustration String Theory Honorable Mention
Hayun Chong Drawing and Illustration From the Ribbons Honorable Mention
Jiaxuan Qin Painting Horse Race Honorable Mention
Jessica Wang Comic Art Blue Days Honorable Mention