Scholastic National Awards praise student artists, writers

MADISON – In the 2018-2019 Scholastic National Awards, Madison teenagers have claimed eight of 26 honors — or about one-third of the winners in the state of Alabama.

“We are pleased and proud to share the names and works of these very talented and dedicated artists and writers,” Robin Lakso said. Lakso teaches art at Bob Jones High School.

“Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth. The awards provide opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated,” Lakso said.

Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program and become a part of the community of young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, video game artists and science fiction writers, Liz Vaughn said. Vaughn teaches art at James Clemens High School.

In addition, Jennifer Norton teaches art at Bob Jones, and Mason Overcash teaches art at James Clemens. Brandy Panagos teaches creative writing, multimedia studies and other related material.

James Clemens student Ange Long earned the Silver National – Art award for her design, “Cereal Killer.” Vaughn is Long’s instructor.

At Bob Jones, Casey Kula received the Gold National – Photography award. Panagos is Kula’s instructor in creative writing and multimedia.

Dalia Altubuh claimed the Silver National – Poetry honor, along with Silver National -Digital Photography award. Her poem “Little Boy and Fat Man” is a chilling-but-reserved apocalyptic work with this excerpt: “The children notice and they pointed up as the “gifts” fell to the earth. Unsuspecting, their smiles remained.” Her instructor is Panagos.

A winner for Gold National – Poetry, Maggie Brown’s award-winning work states, “Sigh, the shy luster of pyrite gold, a hushed paean to the mother who taught me the language of painless breaking. From this I knit my bones back together. Press the metal to the cracks in the crest of my collar.” Panagos is Brown’s writing teacher.

Shiyeon Ku received the Silver National – Painting commendation. Ku is Lakso’s student.

A double honor winner, Michael McGinley earned two Silver National – Drawing awards for his intricate and complex designs. He is in Lakso’s class.

Artists and writers who receive the Gold National Award will be invited to an awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 6. The Empire State Building will be illuminated in gold light to honor these talented youth. An exhibit of their works will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from March 22 to May 27. 

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