Alex Tapnio, Senior Manager of National Programs

Primary role:

Alex Tapnio has been with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers since 2003 as part of the programs team and over the years has become a maven of sorts for the Awards. Now, as the Senior Manager of National Programs, he collaborates with a team of dedicated staff to create recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarship opportunities for national Scholastic Awards winners. His favorite part of his job is working with scholarship partners to provide national winners with tuition support for their achievements in the Awards.

Secret fact:

Alex has vast knowledge in how to taxidermy animals! While struggling to find a career that could suit both his art history and biology majors, he worked in natural history museums preserving animals for scientific study and exhibition displays. No, not the deer or moose heads you’ll find on a hunter’s wall or at a tacky restaurant—fresh out of college, he played with dead snails, birds, fishes and even dinosaur bones. For snails, he recommends fixing in formalin and then switching to methyl hydrate. Kids, don’t do this at home without consulting a scientist!
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It’s been 12 years since Art Director Taehyun Kang founded WOW, an afterschool and weekend art studio for teenagers. Since 1998, he’s trained and mentored not only hundreds of young artists, but 3 Portfolio Gold Awards winners as well! He also earned the distinction of Gold Apple Teacher of Art, and its $1,000 award, for a second time in five years. Under his leadership, WOW Art students have submitted the greatest number of outstanding artworks in 2010. We asked Kang to explain why he and his students take part in the Awards.

I have always wanted my students to have a broader range of experiences and this includes art competitions such as the Awards. They provide a great incentive to students to work hard and put their best foot forward. Read More

Registration for the 2010-2011 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards opens September 15th!

Last year, we received over 165,000 creative works from students across the country and in U.S. schools abroad. This year, we hope you’ll encourage every creative teen you know to participate. There are even three special awards this year for both artists and writers.

From the women’s suffrage movement to the civil rights movement to saving the environment, Americans have used the arts to create an awareness of history and promote social change. Teens are encouraged to submit their works of art and writing that address contemporary social issues important to them. Three winners will be selected to receive $1,000 scholarships. This special award is presented in collaboration with the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Read More

We hope you’re all enjoying the final weeks of summer and that you’ve found some time for beaching, barbecuing and being lazy.

Here at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, summertime means we’re in full swing preparing for the next cycle of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This year, we open the registration system on September 15 and we anticipate more than 200,000(!) submissions from talented young visual and literary artists across the country and in U.S. schools abroad. Read More

Last week was spectacular! Not only did we honor 15 Portfolio Gold Medalists and over 600 students at the Carnegie Hall Award Ceremony, but a record-breaking 1,362 people attended the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Teen Exhibition opening reception at the World Financial Center’s Courtyard Gallery. Workshops took students and teachers to video game studios, panels with editors and writers, tours of magazines like Rolling Stone and behind-the-scenes visits to major museum collections. As one student reported: “It has changed my life even more than I had planned, and I don’t know how I would live without such a wonderful once in a lifetime experience such as this.”

While we celebrated the amazing talent of thousands of young artists and writers, it was the collaboration and strong partnerships that helped make a difference in the lives of this year’s recipients. On behalf of the staff of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, we’re thankful for our partners, funders, affiliates, teachers and friends whose generous support of the 2010 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony made it all possible.

For those that were not able to make the event, here’s a quick snap shot of what happened and interviews with some of our Award-winning students and teachers. Stay tuned for photos from the event!

Attention all New Yorkers: tune in to local PBS station WNET/Thirteen’s SundayArts news segment to catch the television debut of the 2010 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Teen Exhibition! Our dynamic exhibition features the work of 2010 Scholastic Award recipients and honors the 87 year legacy of The Awards. SundayArts is a weekly series through which art enthusiasts everywhere can access the city’s cultural best (next week, that’s us!)

If you miss it, or you live outside of the New York City metropolitan area, take a peek at our television close-up, available Monday 6/7, at: