26 Northern New Jersey Teens Receive National Art Awards through the Montclair Art Museum

The 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards honor the nation's most talented teen artists; winners will be celebrated at Carnegie Hall in New York City
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April 4, 2012 - PRLog -- Twenty-six teen artists from northern New Jersey have received prestigious national Awards for their exceptional artwork through The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the 89-year-old national program that recognizes outstanding creative teenagers and offers scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors. The Montclair Art Museum is the sole affiliate sponsor of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in New Jersey, the fourth year MAM has served in this capacity.

The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which administers the annual Awards, will honor national winners during a special ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 1, 2012. Select Award-winning art and writing will be exhibited at Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan from June 1 through June 16, 2012. To kick off the week of celebrations, the Empire State Building will be lit gold in honor of the students’ achievements the night of May 31.

This year’s 26 recipients from the Northern New Jersey District received a total of 30 awards in visual arts on the national level. Batrek Yassa, grade 12, of Jersey City Arts High School, was honored with the Portfolio Gold Award, which is the highest level of achievement and includes a $10,000 scholarship, as well as a silver award. In addition, two students—Yeon Jae Chung and Yena Kang, both grade 12, of WOW Art Studio—earned one Gold and one Silver Award, and one student, Sarah Abrahamsen, grade 7, of the Elisabeth Morrow School, received a Gold Award and was recognized as Best in Grade. For a complete list of the Northern New Jersey winners, please visit http://www.montclairartmuseum.org/scholasticawards

The first level of recognition for these students’ outstanding work took place through the Montclair Art Museum (MAM), one of 116 affiliate organizations nationwide that, in partnership with the Alliance, conduct The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The competition at MAM focuses on visual art. Its area of service includes the counties of Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren. Students in grades 7–12 submitted works that are judged on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal vision. At MAM, 27 jurors—artists, curators, and educators—participated in a series of panels over four days, reviewing 2,800 submissions. A total of 1,012 creative teens in grades 7–12 submitted art works, representing 150 New Jersey towns and cities.

The Gold Key Award, the highest regional award, was awarded to 158 individuals; additionally, 137 received the Silver Award and 158 received Honorable Mention. All Gold Key and Silver Key winners were honored at an award ceremony and presentation on Wednesday, February 15. Each MAM Gold Key Award recipient also displayed one work in an exhibition on view at the Museum from February 11 to March 9, 2012. All Gold Key award winning works were then submitted for national adjudication.

Overall, more than 200,000 submissions were entered by students. 1,600 received national recognition. Notable past and current national jurors include Robert Frost, Chuck Palahniuk, Gary Panter, Frank McCourt, Judy Blume, Billy Collins, Peggy Noonan, William Saroyan, Kiki Smith, Lesley Stahl, David Sedaris, Mary Ellen Mark, Edwidge Danticat, and Roz Chast.

“The 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners have once again proven the broad and brilliant capacity of our nation’s teens to produce exquisite works of art and writing,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “The Awards continues to be the largest source of scholarships and recognition for our nation’s student artists and writers, and our program’s reach only grows as we recruit new partners each year to join us in honoring creative teens and providing the necessary support for them to explore their potential. After meeting these students and viewing their work, you can’t help but feel optimistic and excited about the future of America’s creative leadership.”

The 2012 Award winners join the ranks of some of our country’s most revered artists and writers who received Scholastic Art & Writing Awards when they were high school, including New Yorker illustrator Edward Sorel, who will join them at Carnegie Hall this year, plus Robert Redford, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, John Lithgow, Joyce Carol Oates, John Baldessari, Philip Pearlstein, Zac Posen, Sylvia Plath, Richard Avedon, Robert Indiana and Abdi Farah (first-season winner of the Bravo reality show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist).

About the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
Founded in 1923, the Awards is the longest-running, most prestigious program of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibitions and publications. Over the past five years, students have submitted nearly 700,000 pieces of work, and over $25 million has been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning participants. As the program prepares for its 90th anniversary in 2013, the Alliance is calling all Award alumni to reconnect and join in the celebration.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is generously supported by Scholastic Inc., the Maurice R. Robinson Fund, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, AMD Foundation, Command Web Offset Co., Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, The New York Times, Blick Art Materials, Ovation, New York Life, Amazon.com, Bloomberg L.P., the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Worldcolor, and additional contributions from numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders.

For more information, please visit the http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/artandwriting.

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The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) presents exhibitions and programs that reflect its collection of historic and contemporary American and Native American art. MAM's Yard School of Art offers classes for people of all ages.
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