On Monday, March 14, Walpole High School’s art and journalism students traveled to the Bruce C. Bolling Building in Roxbury, where they were able to view the 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Gold Key exhibit. Twenty-nine Walpole High School students won a combined total of 37 awards for their excellence in both art and journalism.
Maurice Robinson founded the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in 1923, and according to the program’s website, it is “the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens.” The organization received roughly 2500 writing submissions and 15000 visual art submissions from schools all over Massachusetts. The very best submissions received Gold Keys, approximately 5–7% of the works submitted. About 7-10% of the submissions received Silver Keys and 10–15% received Honorable Mentions.
This year, two WHS students received Gold Keys: Morgan O’Brien for her design work, “Agyrophobia,” and Ryan Conlon for his mixed media work, “Shattered Self.” In addition, Walpole High School students won a total of 15 Silver Keys, as well as 20 honorable mention awards.
“It was cool to win a Gold Key because artists like Andy Warhol have also won this award so it really is an honor,” said O’Brien.
Throughout the year, students work on various projects and Journalism Advisor Conor Cashman and Art Department Head Sandra Allison choose multiple pieces to submit the contest.
“We send away many pieces of work and the organization chooses what they think is unique and has personal voice and has great craftsmanship to win awards,” said Ms. Allison.
With their success over the past couple of years, Walpole High School plans to continue participating in this contest in the future.
“It is a great program because it inspires kids to try a new technique, or a different medium or to take a risk, and it makes the kids feel like they are special,” said Ms. Allison.