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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Scholastic Art Awards

    The purpose of this thread to-

    1. Tell people who are still in high school about the Awards, in case your teacher hasn't. http://www.scholastic.com/artandwrit...ndex_page6.htm

    2. Connect with any previous winners and talk about the awards (I just got back from the awards ceremony in New York a couple days ago). We could talk about whether the portfolio gold judging was sound, or how the workshops went, etc...

    3. Explain how to get money through Scholastic.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    The Scholastic awards are a good way to obtain scholarship money, especially if you win on the national level. The Scholastic Awards is a prestigious (and HUGE) national art contest (with regional levels) that gives recognition to High School and Middle School students in a variety of visual art (and also writing categories).

    Something to keep in mind is that you don't necessarily need to be given scholarship money from the contest itself (in fact, the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers [the people who host the National contest] directly give scholarships only to the national gold portfolio winners). HOWEVER, they have connections with a huge number of schools, who they notify if you get a national win. Just give them the name(s) of where you're applying and they'll send an announcement of what you won. So, through Scholastic, you ultimately win scholarship money from your desired college, not the Alliance itself.

    From personal experience, my national portfolio award got me additional money on top of the scholarship they already offered me. Most colleges put a lot of weight on the scholastic judges (perhaps even more than their individual evaluators) so it's possible that you might end up getting more money from your college as a result of your award than what the college decides you should get for a scholarship.

    As a warning, though, each school is different. Some might give out less money for the same thing. Sometimes it's a flat amount (like a few thousand) and other times it's variable.

    Keep in mind that you don't have to win nationally in order to get money. Local sponsors (like colleges) can offer scholarships (especially for regional portfolio winners). Other colleges also offer scholarships for choice portfolios, around a few thousand. Third parties, anywhere from artists clubs to framing companies can also give "scholarships", which are really just cash prizes. They're assuming you're going to use the money for college (or hoping you will, hehe). Usually these cash prizes are under $1000.00.

    MY BIG ADVICE HERE IS TO ENTER A PORTFOLIO YOUR SENIOR YEAR, not a whole bunch of individual works. If you feel like you have eight strong pieces, by all means do so. You will get rewarded more financially. Additionally, because you're only allowed to enter a portfolio if you're a senior, you're competing with a smaller group. I was very close to making the mistake of entering several things separately, for fear that my stronger pieces might be "brought down" by my weaker ones. However, when I found out I was allowed to pull out pieces from previous years, I decided to enter the unit (with what I thought was my strongest piece entered separately).

    From my experience, if you enter things most appreciated by this website, your chance of winning a gold national portfolio is pretty much nothing. The judges tend to heavily favor a "fine artsy" portfolio- no "illustration-type" stuff. They are also looking for consistency-- just about every single example of a national gold portfolio winner I've seen is made in the same medium, with the same type of subject matter, the same style, etc... They're looking for someone who's "found their voice", not even someone who's a "master of all trades". At least this is what I've seen with the winners of the last several years.



    From one who judged the contest both locally and nationally:

    Quote Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave View Post
    I've judged multiple regionals and Nationals.

    It is extremely stressful. Depending on the category, there an be well over 1200 entries. I just got done doing one category in Senior Drawing where there were nearly 900 pieces- with 21 gold keys given out, 80+ silver keys, about 120+ certificates and three sponsored awards.

    Myself and four other judges were in a huge room with four student helpers (no high school instructors were allowed in the room because of possible tampering or interference). There were literally piles upon piles of work to which we had to cull through. We had to do initial stages of sorting- with the initial one of our group looking at each individual piece for a few seconds. If a majority YES vote was given- it stayed, a majority NO given, it was passed down the pipe and onto a waiting cart to be taken back to a sorting area to be delivered back to their respective high schools.

    Each of the judges then chose their top 10 pieces they thought had merit. Out of those fifty, the gold keys were chosen. The latter were dropped to silver. We had to pick the next tier and the sorting process started all over again for the silver as was for the certificates.

    This was OUR select way of choosing THIS time. I've been in other situations where the criteria to choose was different. It's left up to the judges to figure out the best and most effective way to choose the best work. We were given a criteria to choose the best work. We disagreed on many chosen and agreed on others; diplomacy is a must when it comes to this judging. Individual tastes and personalities do not always mesh. It's exhausting physically and emotionally. The other judges were also industry professionals- many of which had won when they were in high school, and are now working artists in their own right.

    This process took well over 7 hours to do.

    Is it the most fair? Were certain quality pieces passed over at times? Were certain stellar pieces gotten in? Of course this happens- at Scholastics and every other art competition. Alas this is not an Olympic sprint where there is a clear cut decisive winner that can be measured by who crossed the finish line first. This competition is judged by caring human beings who take time out of our days to do this. We are fallible. We have our own likes & dislikes. We, as a team of judges try our very best to come up with what we think is the best work by highly talented and motivated students.

    Even if a person doesn't merit a certificate, a silver or gold key- it no way speaks to them of their drive and ambition. Their pieces just did not strike a chord with the judges that particular day; it does not mean that on another day or with another panel of judges, it couldn't have won it all.

    To all those who have entered and succeeded- Congratulations! I sincerely hope this is a boost to your career and ambitions to be an artist. And to those who did not win but still competed- do not walk away defeated; keep striving and working hard. Art is not a one time thing and is a lifetime of learning and expanding of the mind and soul. An extended bravo to the high school art teachers, counselors and parents that encourage their students to enter this contest- none of this would be possible without you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave View Post
    ...Do realize that this is just ONE of my experiences judging. Depending on the amount of work, the other judges and other criteria- there have been different formats in judging. But our main goal has always been to choose what we feel is to be the best of the best.

    We are not allowed to look at the names written on the back, know the instructors who shepherded the piece along, or have contact with the volunteer instructors during the judging. We try to be as impartial as can be and uphold the rules set forth by the executive committee.

    It's tough work and far from an exact science, but we try our very best.


    Last edited by Zirngibism; January 15th, 2008 at 11:33 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Hey. Rising senior, here. I won one gold key/ silver national photo and one gold key computer art. Region at Large. thesinfulsaint also entered some stuff and won something.
    There is a post about this in the scholarship part of the forum.
    I was invited to attend the award ceremony, but didn't actually attend because we, as a family collectively, could not for the life of us find the forms to turn in on time. Teehee.
    How was it?
    Did you submit a portfolio or just individual pieces?
    And I second the spreading of the word. I had no idea about this contest from school.

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  3. #3
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    Aww, thanks for the plug, bluefruitbowl! I won 2 regional gold keys for an oil painting self-portrait series and a graphite portriat. I won a national silver award for a colored pencil drawing of my car. I, like bluefruit, was invited to go to the national ceremony, but there were conflicts and I wound up being unable to attend. It sure sounded nice, though!

    Just wanted to say that I think this thread is a great idea. I wish I had known about Scholastics earlier in high school. Last year was the first year that I had work in the show.

    Good luck to everyone this year! I hope to see some portfolio gold awards from CA.org

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefruitbowl View Post
    Hey. Rising senior, here. I won one gold key/ silver national photo and one gold key computer art. Region at Large. thesinfulsaint also entered some stuff and won something.
    There is a post about this in the scholarship part of the forum.
    I was invited to attend the award ceremony, but didn't actually attend because we, as a family collectively, could not for the life of us find the forms to turn in on time. Teehee.
    How was it?
    Did you submit a portfolio or just individual pieces?
    And I second the spreading of the word. I had no idea about this contest from school.
    Congratulations!

    Hm... what region were you in? Was it Northeast Ohio? I ask because both thesinfulsaint and I were in that region (In fact, some of her work was on the other side of the wall my portfolio was hanging on )

    You might have been able to find the forms for the ceremony online... and if they're not up there they should be...

    I submitted a portfolio and one individual piece my senior year, but I got awards for single works 3 years previous. I think on my sketchbook I labelled some of the things that won on other years (totals 7 national awards for single works total, 3 golds and 4 silvers, and I think a couple honorable mentions but I don't remember).

    It's too bad more schools don't get the word out. If anything, it's a way for us non-athletes to get some recognition. I'd imagine the contest gets a list of every public high school and e-mails them every year. I'm not as sure about private schools (though they did participate).

    The ceremony was pretty neat. At the beginning, we all walked onstage, single file, while the "Nuttin' but Stringz" group played. There was a speech from the Scholastic CEO, and some actors gave readings of some of the gold writing award winners. They were supposed to have someone famous (I think it was a newscaster) give the main speech, but they were sick so they had an actor instead. Finally, a well-known singer (I so under a rock and don't know her name) sang. Sorry you weren't able to come :-\

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  5. #5
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    As someone who judges this competition, I would highly recommend that people enter it. They have money galore for scholarships and if you've got what it takes to impress the judges (and they're from all walks of life and perspectives), you could go home with some decent cash for your education.

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave View Post
    As someone who judges this competition, I would highly recommend that people enter it. They have money galore for scholarships and if you've got what it takes to impress the judges (and they're from all walks of life and perspectives), you could go home with some decent cash for your education.
    Awesome! Was it the national contest? What category did you judge? (Drawing, I'm guessing).

    I hear (at least for the national judges) it's really stressful. That they'll flash up people's work, and judges have like 2 seconds to say "out" or "in". Is that what it's like? Yikes... I could never do that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Data_Strings View Post
    Awesome! Was it the national contest? What category did you judge? (Drawing, I'm guessing).

    I hear (at least for the national judges) it's really stressful. That they'll flash up people's work, and judges have like 2 seconds to say "out" or "in". Is that what it's like? Yikes... I could never do that...
    I've judged multiple regionals and Nationals.

    It is extremely stressful. Depending on the category, there an be well over 1200 entries. I just got done doing one category in Senior Drawing where there were nearly 900 pieces- with 21 gold keys given out, 80+ silver keys, about 120+ certificates and three sponsored awards.

    Myself and four other judges were in a huge room with four student helpers (no high school instructors were allowed in the room because of possible tampering or interference). There were literally piles upon piles of work to which we had to cull through. We had to do initial stages of sorting- with the initial one of our group looking at each individual piece for a few seconds. If a majority YES vote was given- it stayed, a majority NO given, it was passed down the pipe and onto a waiting cart to be taken back to a sorting area to be delivered back to their respective high schools.

    Each of the judges then chose their top 10 pieces they thought had merit. Out of those fifty, the gold keys were chosen. The latter were dropped to silver. We had to pick the next tier and the sorting process started all over again for the silver as was for the certificates.

    This was OUR select way of choosing THIS time. I've been in other situations where the criteria to choose was different. It's left up to the judges to figure out the best and most effective way to choose the best work. We were given a criteria to choose the best work. We disagreed on many chosen and agreed on others; diplomacy is a must when it comes to this judging. Individual tastes and personalities do not always mesh. It's exhausting physically and emotionally. The other judges were also industry professionals- many of which had won when they were in high school, and are now working artists in their own right.

    This process took well over 7 hours to do.

    Is it the most fair? Were certain quality pieces passed over at times? Were certain stellar pieces gotten in? Of course this happens- at Scholastics and every other art competition. Alas this is not an Olympic sprint where there is a clear cut decisive winner that can be measured by who crossed the finish line first. This competition is judged by caring human beings who take time out of our days to do this. We are fallible. We have our own likes & dislikes. We, as a team of judges try our very best to come up with what we think is the best work by highly talented and motivated students.

    Even if a person doesn't merit a certificate, a silver or gold key- it no way speaks to them of their drive and ambition. Their pieces just did not strike a chord with the judges that particular day; it does not mean that on another day or with another panel of judges, it couldn't have won it all.

    To all those who have entered and succeeded- Congratulations! I sincerely hope this is a boost to your career and ambitions to be an artist. And to those who did not win but still competed- do not walk away defeated; keep striving and working hard. Art is not a one time thing and is a lifetime of learning and expanding of the mind and soul. An extended bravo to the high school art teachers, counselors and parents that encourage their students to enter this contest- none of this would be possible without you.

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  10. #8
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    Thanks! Mind if I put this on the first post of this thread?

    (I'm going to interpret no reply as a yes... )

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Data_Strings View Post
    Thanks! Mind if I put this on the first post of this thread?

    (I'm going to interpret no reply as a yes... )
    Easy there... give me a day or two to reply at least!


    But yes, you can post it. Do realize that this is just ONE of my experiences judging. Depending on the amount of work, the other judges and other criteria- there have been different formats in judging. But our main goal has always been to choose what we feel is to be the best of the best.

    We are not allowed to look at the names written on the back, know the instructors who shepherded the piece along, or have contact with the volunteer instructors during the judging. We try to be as impartial as can be and uphold the rules set forth by the executive committee.

    It's tough work and far from an exact science, but we try our very best.

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  12. #10
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    This is a ridiculous question, but I can't for the life of me find any sort of registration/submission form(s) on the website. Is this something you have to be nominated for, then? *confused*

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    I'm interested in this award, but I've graduated Grade 11 (without plans of doing 12) - can I still participate? (Additionally, I live in the Middle East)

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  14. #12
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    This is from the website:

    "Who Can Participate? Young artists and writers currently enrolled in grades 7 – 12 and who attend a public, private, parochial or home-school in the United States, U.S. Territories or U.S.-sponsored schools abroad. Canadian students in equivalent grades are also eligible as part of the Region at Large."

    It looks like you have to be currently enrolled and in a Canadian or U.S.-sponsored school.

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  15. #13
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    to chocolatecello, the forms aren't up yet for the upcoming year. I'd expect registration to start sometime mid-September.

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