Gaston County Schools won 34 awards in the highly-competitive Mid-Carolina Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program held Saturday, February 4 at the McGlohon Theatre in Charlotte. The awards included 12 Gold Key, 11 Silver Key, and 11 honorable mentions.
“I am extremely proud of our students’ achievements,” said Forestview High School art teacher Travis Johnson. “To receive a Gold Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards means that you are producing some of the best quality work in the state.”
Johnson added, “It is like putting yourself in a position to play for a state championship. Our students are up against students at art magnet schools and have shown that they are not only competitive, but also able to be academic leaders in art and writing. Our art and writing programs are an important part of our schools, and I look forward to continuing to showcase the amazing talent of our students.”
The competition featured approximately 1,900 individual art and writing entries representing public and private schools throughout Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program is administered by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers and is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teenagers in grades 7-12.
Gold Key winners in both visual art and writing advance to the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. More than 314,100 entries have been submitted and winners will be notified in March.
All Gold Key artwork is on display at the Spirit Square Knight Gallery, 345 North College Street, Charlotte, through February 22. Silver Key winners have their artwork on display at both Mint Museum locations (500 S. Tryon Street in Charlotte and 2730 Randolph Road in Charlotte) through February 22.
Congratulations to the following individual art and writing winners:
Gold Key Award Tanner Lak, Ashbrook High - Poetry Oliver Dean, East Gaston High - Design Cameron Tarte, East Gaston High - Sculpture Lilly Gray, Forestview High - Fashion Nicole Rodriguez, Forestview High - Sculpture Kaitlin Simonds, Forestview High - Art Portfolio Taylor Barr, Forestview High - Painting Austen Dover, Forestview High - Mixed Media Alexis Heracklis, Forestview High - Industrial Design Ellen Smykowski, Forestview High - Drawing and Illustration Chloe Kaylor, Stuart W. Cramer High - Painting
Jordan Truss, Stuart W. Cramer High - Painting
Silver Key Award Torrie Epstein, Ashbrook High - Writing Portfolio and Short Story (two awards) Tanner Lak, Ashbrook High - Poetry Kaitlyn Burns, Cramerton Middle - Photography Summer Bahr, Cramerton Middle - Drawing and Illustration Denise Sanchez, East Gaston High - Sculpture Abbi Huffstetler, Forestview High - Digital Keith Wiley, Forestview High - Photography Ashley Sparrow, Miranda Crowley, Brandon Revis, Kyle Ring and Ellen Smykowski, Forestview High - Film Chloe Kaylor, Stuart W. Cramer High - Sculpture Jordan Truss, Stuart W. Cramer High - Painting
Honorable Mention Torie Epstein, Ashbrook High - Novel Writing and Flash Fiction (two awards) Leighanna Bridges, Cramerton Middle - Sculpture Salvatore Rocco, Cramerton Middle - Drawing (two awards) Denise Sanchez, East Gaston High - Painting Keith Wiley, Forestview High - Art Portfolio Taylor Barr, Forestview High - Design Anna Escobedo, Forestview High - Sculpture Alexis Heracklis, Forestview High - Sculpture Megan Holland, Forestview High - Painting
In addition, Austin Dover of Forestview High School received one of four special awards from the Mint Museum, which included a year-long membership to the museum. His teacher, Travis Johnson, also received a membership.
Adams Outdoor Advertising recognized Chloe Kaylor of Stuart W. Cramer High School and Nicole Rodriguez of Forestview High School. Both of their artwork will be on display on ArtPop billboards in the Charlotte area.
Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker stated, “We are extremely proud to congratulate our creative and talented students on their regional art and writing awards and commend their teachers who inspire success in our classrooms. This is a significant accomplishment and shows how our students are excelling in the arts.”
In addition to Johnson at Forestview, other teachers with award winners are Jesse Birnstihl, English teacher at Ashbrook; Brenda Bradley, art teacher at Cramerton; Justin Allison, art teacher at East Gaston; Deborah Hamer, art teacher at Forestview; Melissa Heilig, film/broadcasting teacher at Forestview; and Tim Stiles, art teacher at Stuart W. Cramer.
Click here to view the winning writing entries from Taner Lak and Torrie Epstein.
Click here to view the winning video entry from Ashley Sparrow, Miranda Crowley, Brandon Revis, Kyle Ring and Ellen Smykowski.
In compliance with federal law, Gaston County Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the school district's Title IX coordinator at email@example.com or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.