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

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Guest post by Timothy H. Lee (2006-08 Scholastic Awards winner) on his inspiring journey to becoming an artist and his experience in our first Art.Write.Now.Pop-Up! flash residency in the Scholastic flagship store’s main display window from September 29 – October 4

It’s been 3 weeks since my residency at the Scholastic building storefront ended, and I find myself finally transitioning back into a private studio practice. I was surprised at how difficult it was to transition from working in front of hundreds of people a day, to spending quiet nights painting alone. Although my residency only lasted a week, my experience there was one that had a profound impact on my life: not because I met Nick Cannon, or was interviewed by Hi-Fructose, or even because of the opportunities I received as result of my exposure (though I will not lie and say those weren’t amazing perks). The Art.Write.Now.Pop-Up!  served as a confirmation that becoming an artist was the right decision. Read More

Meganne Mills. Artist’s Special. Grade 11, Age 17. 2013 Silver Medal, Painting.

Fractured Atlas recently compiled a list of practical tips to help budding artists take meaningful immediate steps toward developing their artistic careers — one where you spend less time worrying about the hurdles that stand in your way and have more time to create your art. Check them out below!

(1) Practice your networking.

Find opportunities to meet new people, expand your professional network, and get recognized by influential players. This includes supporting other people’s art, joining professional associations, organizing a panel discussion, or volunteering at a local arts organization or project. If an Emerging Leader or arts-related Meetup group doesn’t exist in your town around a particular interest, start one. Find a theme and own it. Love bourbon and arts technology projects? Schedule informal gatherings at your favorite bourbon haunt and call the evenings Bourbon for Arts Infrastructure Geeks. Try hard to include people who primarily work outside of the cultural sector. The variety of viewpoints and opinions will make it a more dynamic and interesting group.

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Marc Allante. A Portrait of Hong Kong. 125cm x 85cm. Ink on 300gsm Cold Press Paper.

Hong Kong-born artist Marc Allante has demonstrated a passion for the visual arts since he was just 2 years old! Seeing how popular his recent lion painting (pictured above) was, Allante decided to show the 25 years it took him to get to where he is now. As you look at his progression below, think about how you’ve developed as an artist over the years. We hope this inspires you to continue pursuing your craft, because who knows where you’ll be when you’re 25! Share your thoughts in our comments section below.

Age 2


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Many of us who work at the Scholastic Awards are artists and writers, including our interns! We’re proud to announce that artist Sazia Afrin will have three works on display in a NYC gallery starting tomorrow. Sazia, who has been working with us for two years, is also a fine arts student at Queens College and noticed a call for paintings by BLVCK SOVL Gallery, a pop-up gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Go Sazia!

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ASAP Awardee Erika Harper working on a sculpture with Stiller Zusman

Way up in Western New York, nestled between great gorges and the campus of Cornell University, the Abovoagogo Gallery and teaching studio is a hive of purposeful creativity in downtown Ithaca. At its center, Stiller Zusman makes art and offers classes all year long—and this summer she welcomed ASAP Awardee Erika Harper to join her creative community. Read More