BIG ideas… Where do they come from? How do they start? How do you take a big idea and begin to turn it into something tangible? This summer we have asked recent alums to talk to you about their big ideas and how inspiration, process and creativity take their big ideas to the next level!

Seth Boyden was a 2011 Portfolio Gold Medalist in art and now works for Disney and attends the California Institute of the Arts. Above, Seth talks about his inspiration, creative process, current projects, and more! We’ll let Seth take it from here… Read More

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

Tyra AThe 91st annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Celebration is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate some of the most outstanding young artists and writers from all across the country. On Friday, June 6, national Scholastic Art & Writing Award-winning students will be honored during the National Awards Ceremony, live-webcasted from the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Since the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced the 2014 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winners in March, we have had the privilege of getting to know some of these talented teens, including the Art Portfolio Gold Medal Award recipients. This year, 16 high school seniors received the Portfolio Gold Medal Award, the highest Scholastic Art & Writing Awards honor, which includes a $10,000 cash scholarship. After their big win, the Portfolio Gold Medalists have made television appearances, been featured in local papers and done radio interviews to discuss their award and what it took to get on the path to Carnegie Hall.

Before the National Celebration kicks-off in New York City next week, we wanted to give you a glimpse into the creative minds of the eight Portfolio Gold Medal artists. From vital organs made out of fabric to quirky self-portraits and even intricate pencil shavings sculptures, these eight teens are sure to impress you with their incredible talent, undeniable creativity and bold personalities. Read More

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Ford Town, USA 1960 by Laurel Taylor. Age 16, Grade 11, Cincinnati, OH.

Duck Tape® has always been known as a fix-all for DIY repairs, but with the addition of colors and prints this once utilitarian tool has quickly become a craft medium that is both unique and accessible. Sponsored by Duck Tape®, this award encourages new forms of creativity, individuality and personal expression. One award of $500 is presented to a student that expresses their artistic skills using Duck Tape® in their creation. Read More

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Martha Hughes, Rooms #1, acrylic on panels, 27 panels, 40 x 114″

Deep in the heart of Texas, Awards alum Martha Hughes has a new show at the Marfa Book Company in desert and artist’s oasis Marfa, Texas. The show, called “New Paintings: Scenes and Rooms” runs through the end of March and it’s a big, bright installation that started small: the canvases that inspired it measure 12 inches square. But for the show itself, housed in the minimalist gallery at the Book Company, boasts canvases that measure 6 feet by 6 feet—and Martha would have painted them larger if she had her druthers!

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While attending Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School in Syracuse, New York, Kay WalkingStick received her Scholastic Gold Key in 1948.

Yesterday we celebrated Kay WalkingStick’s birthday! WalkingStick, an artist of Native American descent, won a Scholastic Award in 1948 when she was 13 years old. She also served as a juror in 2010 and again this year for the 11th grade drawing panel.

On June 6, 2014, the Scholastic Awards will honor Kay WalkingStick at Carnegie Hall with an Alumni Achievement Award! Fellow artists and alums Zac Posen, John Baldessari, and Ed Sorel have also received Alumni Achievement Awards. Read More

untitled (Separate Yourself From the Animals), 2013.

Untitled (Separate Yourself From the Animals), 2013. By Justin Nissley.

Guest post by Justin Nissley (2001 Scholastic Awards winner) whose art is currently being shown in a group exhibition at the Taubman Museum of Art until January 25. Justin received his BFA in Studio Art at Virginia Tech, and now resides and works in New York City. He was also a part of our first artist-and-residency program, the Atelier, in the fall/winter of 2011.

New York City is a great place for an artist to live. There is so much to see and do, and artists can visit many local galleries to get their finger on the pulse of what is happening in the art world. I think going to look at art is one of the most important things an artist can do, other than creating it.

My art for the past 7 years has been figurative, and mostly painting portraits. I’m drawn to the face because I’m constantly surrounded by people, and each person is fascinating in his or her own way. Recently, I started doing charcoal drawings of people in gas masks. Read More