Culver City High School art students from the CCHS Academy of Visual and Performing Arts have been recognized for their exceptional talent in the visual arts through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards – a nationwide arts competition open to all high school students. \Lola Marinko-Beale, Alex Cerutti, Ariana Pacino, and Cheyenne Tesfay have earned “Gold Key” awards, the highest level of achievement, for their individual work in visual art. These four students will now continue to compete in the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards national adjudication in New York City for further scholarship consideration.
Senior AVPA Art student, Alex Cerutti, says of his four Gold Key Awards, “I dedicate a lot of time and passion into the work I create. Receiving the Gold Key Awards in different categories—Mixed Media, Fashion, Digital Art, and Design by the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition is truly an honor.”
Additionally, Samantha Koyama, won a “Silver Key” award for her individual art piece in digital art and Cheyenne Tesfay won “Silver” for her portfolio of artwork. Alex Cerutti, Lismary Escamilla, Vanessa Harding, and Addy Marble, were also awarded “Honorable Mention” for their artwork. Ariana Pacino won “Honorable Mention” for her portfolio.
“I feel honored to be recognized with a Gold Key Award out of thousands of applicants,” she said. “Winning the award was a nice reminder that even as high school students, the art we all make matters and makes a difference.”
AVPA’s Co-Executive Director, Kristine Hatanaka, who is also the Creative Director of Visual Art, comments, “Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Competition is one of the most competitive because it includes all the schools in Southern California. I am always proud of my AVPA art students and their willingness to compete in competitions. When they win, it inspires all the students.” According to Hatanaka, ” I encourage my art students to take every opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity. Competing in a national competition is a greater challenge. It’s exciting to see my students receive the award recognition of a national competition like this one. My students are very fortunate and I’m grateful for the opportunity given to them.”
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have celebrated 93 years of identifying and documenting the outstanding achievements of young artists and writers in the visual and literary arts. Jurors look for works that exemplify the Awards’ core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision. This year, a record breaking 320,000 entries from across the nation were submitted. They continue to be the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers.
The Awards are an important opportunity for students to be recognized for their creative talents. Each year, the Alliance partners with more than 100 visual and literary-arts focused organizations across the country to bring The Awards to local communities. Teens in grades 7 through 12 can apply in 28 categories of art and writing for the chance to earn scholarships and have their works exhibited or published.