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The first two weeks of February we will be welcoming renowned artists from around the country (and world) to join us at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Office in New York City for National Art Judging.  These artists are at the top of their fields, and they share in our mission of recognizing and fostering creativity.

This year we had over 300,000 submissions nationwide and only the top 5-7% are considered on the National Level for the Gold and Silver Medals and the opportunity to NYC in June for National Events. Read More

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This post originally appeared on Scholastic’s On Our Minds blog, written by Brittany Sullivan.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have been judging student work based on 3 original criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.

Flash forward to 92 years later and a quite few details surrounding the judging process have changed, but at its core, you could say that nothing has changed at all. The Awards founder Maurice R. Robinson dreamed of providing students who are accomplished in the arts with the same honors and recognition as their athletic classmates—and with these three criteria the Awards does just that with opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships.

Today, National Adjudication for the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards began at Scholastic headquarters in New York City! Throughout the next two weeks, panels of creative-industry experts will blindly judge all Gold Key-winning works, sent in from the more than 100 Regional Affiliates throughout the country that run the Awards in their local areas.

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When the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards began in 1923, the works were adjudicated based on three criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal voice or vision. While ‘yes’ and ‘no’ paddles used to be a part of the process, jurors today have a slightly different experience, though those three criteria remain. The Scholastic Awards also practice blind adjudication, where no identifying information of the student is given to ensure fair and unbiased decisions. The freedom of expression, and the freedom to explore any and all topics, also remains at the core of the Awards. There are no pre-defined prompts and no work is ever disqualified from the Scholastic Awards because of the nature of its content.

Next week, luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of who are past Awards recipients, will join us to jury the 2015 Gold Key works and we can’t wait to keep you updated! For now, join us in a look back at the adjudication process and take a look at our timeline for a look at past jurors. Read More

Judging

Awards alum Timothy H. Lee’s shot of the Scholastic building and the famous ‘in’ and ‘out’
paddles that were used in the 1970′s

We are so lucky to have had such an exciting, creative, and fun group of jurors join us for the 2014 Awards adjudication. Whether reading your work from the comfort of their own homes with a cup of cocoa while the snow fell or making the icy trek into the Alliance offices on a holiday, one thing remained the same: the outstanding quality of the works you submitted!

Take a look at what some of our jurors had to say about the process! Read More

What a year! The 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards received more than 230,000 student works in 27 categories of art and writing – 15% more than last year! Over 60,000 students received regional awards and 15,000 Gold Key works were reviewed on the national level earlier this month.

As we wrap up this year’s judging process, we want to congratulate all students and teachers who participated in the 90th anniversary year of the Scholastic Awards. We also want to give a big thank you to the incredible artists and writers who helped us judge this year’s submissions.

This year’s jurors included Awards alum Red Grooms, Fantasy writer and alum Peter S. Beagle, curators Matthew Higgs and Nora Halpern, photographer Andres Serrano, and artist Cat Mazza– just to name a few! Check out what some of them had to say about the judging process below.

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Still from the documentary When I Walk by 2011 Scholastic Awards Juror Jason DaSilva

In 2011, documentary filmmaker Jason DaSilva helped choose the National Gold and Silver Medalists in the Film category as one of our many remarkable jurors that year. Five years earlier, at the age of 25, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after suffering from a bad fall while at the beach with his family. Doctors told him that the disease could lead to loss of vision, muscle control, and many other problems over the years. But that didn’t stop Jason from pursuing his love of making films and working with the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to recognize and encourage talented young filmmakers. In fact, he created a documentary about his affliction and the incredible things he encountered along the way. The film, When I Walk, is being shown this week in Utah 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and is a true inspiration. Read More