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Elevated Place by Brandon Brooks, 2014 Gold Medal Art Portfolio

Nathan Cummings and Brandon Brooks rely on the natural world for inspiration and to create, dazzle, and amaze their audiences.  Movement—whether it’s the unexpected flow of bent wood or the harmony of sound, tongue and teeth to pronounce a single word—also plays a central role.

Explains Nathan:  “I am a devotee of the arcane and bizarre: my writing includes pieces on phantom fish, conjoined twins, and the sheer improbability of the word syzygy (SIZZ-uh-GEE). This is my “normal,” the gear at which I’m used to operating.”

In astronomy, syzygy– the alignment of four planets– is a rare and fascinating occurrence. But for this poet, the process of saying the word and envisioning its reality stirred his imagination.  Can you see it as the planets spin below? Read More

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Again and Again and Again (detail), 168” x 72” Adobe Photoshop, Digital Print, Polaroid / Emulsion Transfer

Country, family, community, beliefs, race, cultural norms and accepted behaviors: we are born into this world with many of these factors pre-determined for us. So what’s a teenager to do? As Portfolio Medalists Patrick Zapien and Jackson Trice see it, there’s just one choice: to rebel.

For Jackson, a born-and-bred Southerner, “I Should Be Leaving” deals with how she feel s about her place in the world, coming of age, and the natural urge to revolt that comes with it.

“It goes back to this central question I’ve posed for myself which is: what makes me want to rebel?” she reflects. “Perhaps it is in my blood. And perhaps, I dare to say, I am okay with it.” Read More

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Flourish by Lisa Su (Colored pencil shavings, colored pencil lead, newspaper, coffee grounds)

Let’s face it: Artists and writers see the world a little differently. And it’s not just their keen powers of observation at work—their vision is coupled with a wild and sometimes unpredictable imagination. For artist Lisa Su, her work becomes a celebration of the ordinary that at once elevates and transforms it.

“We often overlook the value in everyday objects,” Lisa explains. By repurposing materials such as pencil shavings, eggshells and coffee filters, she says, “my work brings out the aesthetic qualities hidden within…so that they can transcend their original purpose, creating unique textures and atmospheres seemingly from another world.”

Emma Hastings admits that she feels very close the characters that emerge from her imagination, and that they feel very real to her. As she writes, in fact, they possess uncanny power:   “There was a moment in writing…these stories that one of the characters decided to change course and break from my plans, or bring up something pivotal that I hadn’t thought of before.” Sometimes, she adds, “it was a shock to see what they had in their heads.”

Here, we offer a glimpse of Lisa’s world view and the very real fictional characters that people Emma’s creative mind. To see and read more, visit www.artandwriting.org/galleries. Read More

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The 2013 Class of National Student Poets (from the left: Nathan Cummings; Louis Lafair; Michaela Coplen; Sojourner Ahebee; Aline Dolinh) enjoy their time in New York City for the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Events.

We are still reeling from a dynamic and rich Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Events week in New York City! During the Events, the 2013 Class of National Student Poets led workshops with third and fourth graders at Harlem Academy, walked across Carnegie Hall’s legendary stage and presented their community service projects with passion at the Saturday Student Showcase at the Art.Write.Now.2014 National Exhibition, which took place at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons the New School for Design and Pratt Manhattan Gallery.  These exhibitions featured over 1,000 visual and literary award-winning works from students in grades 7 through 12. This week, the National Student Poets will join other accomplished youth poets at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, CO! Read More

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The eight Writing Portfolio Gold Medalists with alum Hannah Jones

This post originally appeared on Scholastic’s On Our Minds blog. By Brittany Sullivan.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Carnegie Hall award ceremony is just two days away! Last week, we took a closer look at this year’s outstanding eight Portfolio Gold Medal artists, who, in addition to winning $10,000 scholarships, are well on their way to following in the footsteps of famous Scholastic Awards alumni such as Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein and Zac Posen.

Before the National Celebrations begin in New York City tomorrow, let us introduce you to the talented eight Portfolio Gold Medal writers of the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. These storytellers captivated regional and national judges with their wild imaginations and powerful emotions – communicated through short stories, poems and memoirs. We can’t wait to meet them here in New York City! Read More

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They’re here! Your portraits from the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Events registration last weekend! We were so lucky to have photographer and Awards alum Lars Klove with us for the second year in a row, and his photos are great! They’re now up on Flickr, just waiting to be turned into a new Facebook profile picture or album. Be sure to tag #AWawards and @artandwriting when posting!

Here’s how to find your picture: Read More