American Visions Nominee Armani Garcia (8th Grade) poses next to his work with his teacher, Heather Langlois (Parthum Middle School) at the 2016 Gold Key Exhibition.

American Visions Nominee Armani Garcia (8th Grade) poses next to his work with his teacher, Heather Langlois (Parthum Middle School) at the 2016 Gold Key Exhibition.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ national office in New York City is dedicated to growing and supporting our Affiliate Partners across the country. Our Affiliate Partners are doing great work in their communities, and we love hearing about their outreach efforts, their students, and their programs. This month, we shine the spotlight on The School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) in Boston, Massachusetts, which manages a statewide art and writing program. Here’s what the staff at SMFA had to say about Awards activity in their region:

Local Highlight: Massachusetts Region

Although SMFA has been the Regional Affiliate for the Scholastic Awards for only three years, Massachusetts has had a long history with the Awards.  We partner with the Boston Globe, which has been sponsoring the Awards in Massachusetts for more than 50 years.  SMFA is one of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ largest Affiliate Partners. This year we received more than 15,000 art submissions and more than 2,500 writing submissions from students all over the state. It’s a challenge to process so many great works by so many talented young artists and writers, but it’s a challenge that we are excited to take on!

Awards Ceremony at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

We hosted 51 panels of professional artists, writers, and educators who carefully reviewed the submissions in early January and awarded 1,946 Gold and Silver Keys. We recognized the students who created these works at an Awards Ceremony at the Museum of Fine Arts on March 12. Because of the number of award recipients, and because we want students to bring their parents and loved ones to the ceremony, we have six back-to-back award sessions at the Museum. Students were welcomed to the ceremony by a video featuring local artists and writers, such as graphic artist and Gold Key Alum Karl Stevens and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sacha Pfeiffer. Before and after each session, shuttle buses brought students and their families to the exhibition.

Gold Key Exhibition at EF Education First

We are thrilled that EF Education First graciously provided a space for the 2016 Gold Key Exhibition in their Boston office right on the Charles River. The space spans nearly the entire second floor of the building and is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows that overlook the river and the Boston skyline. It’s the perfect place to feature the 658 Gold Key artworks. We built custom walls and sculpture pedestals for the exhibition using large hollow-core doors that are hinged together. We also used magnets to hang work in the central lobby area, which is surrounded by beautiful black-steel walls.

Highlighting Writers

It’s important for us to recognize the writers as well as the artists at the exhibition. To highlight their work, we used a laser cutter at SMFA’s Advanced Production lab to engrave the sides of the sculpture pedestals with selected student poems and excerpted texts. The students or schools will be able to keep the wood engravings after the show. We also put together a 400-page book for the 2016 Gold Key Writing Award recipients. The book is available for $14.43 at We’d like to thank all of the people who helped make the 2016 Massachusetts Scholastic Art & Writing Awards such a success, including Lesley Davison and Daniel Embree at SMFA, Emily Procknal at the Boston Globe, Melissa Jordan at Education First, and of course all of the students who submitted work and the families and educators who support them.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are proud to work with organizations like SMFA to help talented students receive recognition for their creative efforts. By partnering together, SMFA and the Scholastic Awards give our youth the support they need to become lasting members of their art and writing communities.

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