Students prepare for Scholastic Art Competition


Photo by Marie Lecuyer

These are examples art hung up in the art wing of SAHS. These were created, by students in art teacher Peter Koltuns painting class earlier this month.

The Scholastic Art Competition is a national event that gives students in grades 7-12 a chance to express themselves through 29 different forms of art and writing. With a deadline of Dec. 7, motivated students are working hard to get their artwork recognized by a panel of judges.

Students can receive regional awards and national awards. Not only do these awards look great on college applications, some of them consist of scholarships. Last year, there were nearly 350,000 pieces of different forms of art submitted into the competition. The art is juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts who are on the lookout for originality and technical skill.

Art teacher Peter Koltun eagerly pushes his students to enter the Scholastic Art Competition. He believes it is beneficial for the student because of the opportunities for the recognition and scholarships that go along with the awards. Koltun also thinks that experiencing this competition and being a part of it looks great on college applications.

Completing a polished piece is very rewarding, but also easier said than done, especially when the artist is dissatisfied with the original concept – this is why I explored for two months to discover my concept for this portfolio.”

— Cleo Haugen

Students spend a lot of time coming up with the idea of what they will place in the competition. Artists take the time to have a set plan of their work to reassure they will be happy with the end result.

“Completing a polished piece is very rewarding, but also easier said than done, especially when the artist is dissatisfied with the original concept – this is why I explored for two months to discover my concept for this portfolio,” senior Cleo Haugen said.

Once an artist has a plan set, the act of completing the artwork is the hardest part. Haugen is entering eight different pieces as a submission for the portfolio award.

“I have been working on my pieces and exploring ideas since the beginning of the year.  I utilize my independent 2nd period to work in Mr. Koltun’s class every day to receive feedback and paint every day.  In addition, once a week I work outside of class too, with another art teacher, Karron Knottingham,” Haugen said.

The Scholastic art competition offers regional and national awards. A student who receives the Gold Key award regionally then continues on and gets judged nationally.

According to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards website, “Students receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Voices & Visions Nominations are celebrated within their communities through local exhibitions and ceremonies… National Medalist are recognized in part at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.”

Senior Clarice Vrambout  is entering a portrait painting that she has spent hours on. She is entering  the competition because she enjoys getting feedback for her art. Vrambout does not know if she will get an award but she says she would be grateful to be recognized for her work at all.

Haugen has earned awards from different competitions in the past. Mr. Koltun recognized that and was the person who pushed Haugen to enter work into it.

“Mr. Koltun brought this competition to my attention.  At the beginning of the year, I told him I wanted to enter into more competitions because it was him who originally pushed me to enter into Minnesota’s top 100 (which I got into). The following year I placed first in the da Vinci fest in the painting category.  The scholarships offered for award winners in the Scholastica competition are also very enticing,” Haugen said.

There will be a National Ceremony on Feb. 23 that will be held at the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minneapolis to reward the students that get recognized for their hard work and talent.