Jefferson students succeed at 2022 Regional Scholastic Art Awards Program


Mulan Pan

“At TJ especially I think we’re taught to prioritize academic STEM subjects over art or writing “hobbies”, but your passions are just as worthwhile. It’s a special kind of fulfillment that you get from creating art, and I hope that you don’t feel pressured to sacrifice it in an effort to catch up to your more STEM-oriented peers,” Junior Mulan Pan said.

Poorna Prakash, Staff Writer

The 2022 Regional Scholastic Art Awards Program competition is sponsored by The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, which identifies teenagers with amazing artistic and literary talent and brings their work to the attention of the public. This competition is known to be the one of the most prestigious scholarship competitions for creative teens, as it has provided many scholarships for young artists and writers. Many Jefferson took part in this competition in order to express their love of art and writing and share it with others.  

“At the end of the day, I am not writing for myself, not for the judges. Not everything I write has to be for a competition, sometimes I just write to write,” senior Lillian Sun said.

Many students participated in this competition, with 19 Jefferson students selected as Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention award winners. There are 28 categories to submit creative works, including comic art, ceramic art, printmaking, dramatic script, poetry, etc. Among the winners, senior Sun and junior Mulan Pan voice their opinions on this open-ended competition.

 “There were quite a few pieces I submitted that I considered technically impressive, but the pieces that won were more personal, and I learned a lot about self expression in my work,” Pan said.

The professional judges looked for pieces of art that really stood out to them, in the aspect of personality as well as theme. The competition is open for multiple submissions, and students took advantage of this additional opportunity to showcase their talents in multiple fields of art and writing. 

The Gold and Silver key winners’ works will be showcased to the public from February 11th through March 24, in the Ernst Cultural Center Gallery at the Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus. This competition assisted many in pursuing their love in many creative aspects, and students are eager to apply again.

“Don’t give up if your work doesn’t receive recognition. The judging for a lot of competitions is incredibly subjective. Also, writing is all about growth. No one starts out writing their best work,” Sun said.