AVPA Artists Win National Award Recognition

"Gold Key" Award Winner, Photography by Benjamin Mullen

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is a nation-wide arts competition open to all high school students. Culver City High School (CCHS) art students from CCHS Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) have been recognized for their exceptional talent in the both areas of writing and visual art. Seniors, Lara Evans and Benjamin Mullen, have won “Gold Key” awards, the highest level of achievement, for their individual art pieces in visual art. 11th grader, Azalie Welsh, has also won a “Gold Key” award for collection of poems. All three students will now continue to compete in the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards national adjudication in New York City for further scholarship and award consideration. Additionally, Elizabeth Bolas, Anisa Khanmohamed, Simone Miller, and Tamara Mosher have won “Silver Key” awards for individual art pieces in photography, painting, and sculpture. Nicholas Apodaca, Morris Ellis, Carmen Jovel, Ahin Ju, and Tamara Mosher have won Honorable Mention for their artwork

The Scholastic Art Awards ceremony and exhibition will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, March 26th, at The Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Street in Pasadena, where the winners of the Regional Scholastic Arts Awards competition will be recognized for their achievements. All the “Gold Key” award recipients from CCHS’ Academy of Visual and Performing Arts will have their artwork displayed in the galleries at The Armory. The exhibition will run March 27th – May 1st in the Mezzanine Gallery.

AVPA’s Co-Executive Director, Kristine Hatanaka, who also runs AVPA’s Visual Art Department, comments, “Art competitions like these are highly competitive. Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is one of the most competitive because it includes all schools in the entire Southern California region. If a student achieves a “Gold Key”, they are competing with students all across the nation. According to Hatanaka, “I’m always proud of the exceptional talent and creativity of my art students. It’s very gratifying for me to see them receive the recognition of a national competition like this one. I always encourage my students to take every opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity in visual art but also in other areas they show exceptional talent such as writing. By competing in a competition, it opens other doors of possibilities to scholarships.”

“Gold Key” winner for her collection of of five poems titled, “Itch”, Azalie Welsh comments, “Winning the Gold Key award gave me a true sense of accomplishment knowing that my work was evaluated by professionals in their field. The transformation from a perception of what I wrote coming only from myself to my work being judged and acknowledged is a unique and rewarding experience. It’s such a meaningful achievement to have received this recognition and now competing at the national level with students across the nation.”

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have celebrated 88 years of identifying and documenting the outstanding achievements of young artists and writers in the visual and literary arts. Since 1923, 13 million students have participated, 9 million young artists and writers have been recognized, and $25 million in awards and scholarships have been made available. Across the country, 165,000 students in grades 7 through 12 participate in the competition. At all levels, artwork is judged by three criteria: originality, technical skill, and personal vision or voice.

About the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts

The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) at Culver City High School has been inspiring and empowering students to build a compassionate, creative community through innovative and challenging arts education since 1996. AVPA enjoys tremendous support from Sony Pictures Entertainment and other area businesses as well as from the Culver City community. For more information about the Academy, go to http://avpa.org or contact Tony Spano at 310-842-4200 x6094 or Kristine Hatanaka at 310-842-4200 x6001.

The Actors' Gang

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