National art competition recognizes RHS students

Avery Miller-Dakota, Staff Reporter

Picasso’s first word was “piz, piz” or “pencil.” When Andy Warhol’s high school peers talked about him, they talked of his incredible ink drawings. Leonardo DaVinci qualified as a master artist by the time his twentieth birthday approached. Several Revere High School students submitted works to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition, hoping to earn a fraction of the recognition these internationally acknowledged artists receive on a daily basis.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is a national art competition that invites youth to maintain involvement in the art community. Since its founding in 1923, artists including famed illustrator Andy Warhol and Revere’s own art educator Robert Pierson have received an award from the Scholastic organization. Pierson elaborated upon his affiliation with the award.

“I went to Revere, and in 9th grade I received a scholastic award. There use to be a 50 entry limit. But, now it’s a dollar an entry,” Pierson said.

Soon after, Pierson declared his love for art. Since Pierson’s teaching career at Revere launched, he has coached nearly nineteen years of students into winning Scholastic awards. Pierson commented on the judging process.

“Artists and professors from Kent State and Akron [University] judge. This was just a regional competition, and our region has 6 counties. One third [of the entries] are given honorable mentions, and honorable mentions are not displayed. One third are given the silver key award and one third are given the gold key,” Pierson said.

After the Scholastic Art and Writing Award assessors made their final decisions, every student artist who received a silver or gold key were invited to a commemoration showcasing other student award winning works. Doors were open to the public Tuesday, January 20 through Wednesday, February 4 displaying silver and gold key award winning works. Participant and Revere junior Caroline Edwards described her winnings.

“I won two silver keys and two honorable mentions. One of my silver keys was for a drawing of my sister, and my other silver was for a painting. Then, my honorable mentions were both for paintings I did outside of school. One was a painting of a citrus fruit and the other was for a painting of a room,” Edwards said.

Edwards was not the only Revere student to secure an award. Nearly one hundred fifty works authored by RHS students were entered and one hundred seventeen obtained either an honorable mention, silver key or gold key award. Revere sophomore Hannah Jenkins commented on her achievements.

“I won a gold key and a silver key. After winning I was able to go see, not only my piece on exhibit, but all the other students in my area. It made me realize how talented people my age are and that they can make these beautiful pieces that you only think adults could possibly make,” Jenkins said.

Not unlike prior years, a large majority of Revere pieces that were entered received either a gold, silver or honorable mention. Pierson commented on this observation.

“A large amount of students received an award, and I think that really reflects Revere as a district. Revere students are very determined and dedicated. Once a kid from Revere validates their ability to do something, it is amazing,” Pierson said.

Though Edwards’ and Jenkins’ first words were not “pencil” or “paint brush,” they both believe in the importance of art and the goal of the Scholastic Art and Writing Award. Edwards plans to attempt an art career and Jenkins promises to greet art as a lifelong hobby. Gold Key pieces such as Jenkins’ work will go on to be displayed at the national competition in New York City.