Brianna Robinson. I Can’t Go. Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Gold Medal, Photography Portfolio.

Last week, we introduced you to two of our 2012 Portfolio Gold winners—photographer Leo Purman and writer Emma Goldberg. We shared their creative process and presented a sample of the incredible work that they produced. In continuation of our Eyes on the Prize series, we would like you to meet our next pair of portfolio winners: Brianna Robinson and Yan Zhang. Read More

Leo Purman. Contained. Grade 12, Age 18. 2012 Gold Medal, Photography Portfolio.

What is creativity? What inspires a young artist or writer? We thought we’d go to the source: our 2012 Portfolio Gold winners, and let them tell you in their own words and images!

The Portfolio Gold Award is the top prize in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, given to just 15 high school seniors. It includes both a $10,000 college scholarship and access to the more than $5 million that our scholarship partners offer to our National Award winners. Each blog post in this series, Eyes on the Prize, will introduce you to a pair of portfolio winners—an artist and a writer. We’ll present what they wrote about their creative process, and then let you see and read their work for yourself!

First up: Leo Purman and Emma Goldberg.
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Primary Role: As Manager of Affiliate Services, Mariana is responsible for all aspects of affiliate support. Her job is to ensure that the wonderful men and women who promote and drive our regional programs are equipped with as many resources as possible. She also contributes to program development through implementing strategies that strengthen our mission as well as recruitment and retention efforts.

Secret Fact:
When Mariana was 18 years old, she co-wrote the documentary, Assignment Education: Teen Stories, which won a Regional Emmy Award!

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Primary Role:
Michael works as the Assistant of Art & Production at the Alliance. He lends his help in the design and production of printed and web-based materials, including designing annual publications like SPARK and The Best Teen Writing.

Secret Fact: Michael is a vegan and loves to experiment with new recipes and learning to cook foods from various cultures.
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Primary Role: As Manager of External Relations, Nora works on events such as the annual Gala, Now Showing, and ART.WRITE.NOW. She is also involved in alumni-related efforts like the Atelier, in which six alumni artists created work in a downtown storefront for two weeks. In addition, Nora manages the Alliance’s archive and oversees all of the Alliance’s blog and social media efforts. Every time you see a Facebook update, tumblr post or tweet – that’s her!

Secret Fact: Nora continues to practice photography, which she studied in college. You can see her work at Aside from her own site, she runs a website about the history of rock in New York City, Nora is also currently learning how to play the mandolin and how to pickle.
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Esther Boller, "Hear the Silence"

Esther Boller has won Scholastic Awards the past three years in a row, including Gold Keys in fashion and photography. She was also an American Visions nominee. In the video after the jump, Esther talks about her work, including an incredible video she created while at the Fort Wayne Museum of Arts’ Dedicated Summer Arts Program (which she attended as an ASAP Award winner!). You can see some of Esther’s work on her blog:
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