Art exhibit features work from talented middle, high school students in region

The Scholastics Arts and Writing display will be exhibited in the Wedge Gallery at SKyPAC during the months of February and March. This gallery will feature award winning work by local students grade 7 through 12 and will be available for viewing to the public from 10 a.m to 5 p.m Monday through Friday.

Sarah Yaacoub

The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center will display award-winning artwork by local students in grades seven through 12 in its Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards display throughout the months of February and March. 

These pieces, submitted by teens from 22 counties, have been recognized in the regional contest by the contest judges, a team of professional jurors.

The exhibit is open in the Wedge Gallery and features winners of regional Silver and Gold Key awards in the visual arts categories, which include photography, mixed media and drawing and illustration. Public viewing is available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, in addition to performance times.

“For those visiting the exhibit … they will see originality and technical skill, but more than that, they will see the personal voice of each young artist,” Andee Rudloff, a former award recipient herself, and a self-described artist-educator who is overseeing this year’s Scholastic exhibit at SKyPAC said.

Of the 600 submissions to the regional competition this year, 122 artistic and literary works by middle and high school students in the south-central Kentucky region received awards of some kind. The awardees will be honored during a ceremony at noon Saturday, March 3, at the Laura Goad Turner Foundation Lobby. The ceremony is open to the public.

According to the South Central Kentucky Regional Affiliate press release, “nearly 350,000 works of art and writing were submitted to more than 100 affiliate partners across the country,” of which SKyPAC served as one.

Students in the designated region can submit as many pieces as they wish to with an application fee and an educator’s signature for each submission.  

There are three levels of recognition available for outstanding works: an honorable mention, received by 61 pieces of art and writing; Silver Key, received by 36 submissions; and the highest regional award, the Gold Key. Twenty-five Gold Keys were issued at the regional competition this year, and these awardees advanced to the national level of judging, which will issue results March 13.  

The students designated as National Gold Medalists will be invited to attend an awards reception at Carnegie Hall in New York City this summer and will gain access to a number of opportunities, including the possibility of participation in a touring exhibit and consideration for the prestigious National Student Poets Program for students with National Gold Medals in the poetry category of the writing competition.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, founded in 1923 and now celebrating its 95th year in operation, boasts a handful of illustrious alumni, among whom are Andy Warhol and Sylvia Plath. It is administered by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, a nonprofit organization based in New York City and dedicated to “providing opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships” to American youth.  

“As a former Gold Key recipient and Scholastic alumna, I enthusiastically accepted the position to serve as administrator and curator of the program for SKyPAC this year,” Rudloff, who coordinated the regional Scholastic Awards exhibit said, “Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are the country’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades seven through 12, and SKyPAC is proud to serve as the South Central Kentucky affiliate.” 

Features reporter Sarah Yaacoub can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @SarahYaacoub1.