Scholastic Art and Writing Winners Announced


Claire Taylor

Graphic Design teacher Mr. Eshow with past year medals awarded to Hingham High School students at the national awards.

Claire Taylor, Contributing Writer

Each year, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards recognize the best teen artists and writers in the nation. This year, at the regional level, over seventy works from twenty six Hingham High School students were awarded.

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards work in such a way that each year students grades 7-12 submit their work to any of the twenty-nine categories of art and writing. All but the Novel Writing category works are first evaluated at a regional level.

Works that win a Gold Key at the regional level  move to compete for a national title and are displayed at a local exhibition. There are 100 regions of the United States that choose the winners of Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention awards. In 2017, over 330,000 art and writing works were submitted to the Scholastic Awards.

Mr. Eshow commented on the impressive crowd of winners at Hingham High School, a majority of them having taken his Graphic Design classes at some point in their high school career. “We do very well every year,” he explained. “Getting ready to submit work every year is all of my effort in the first half of the year.”

On Mr. Eshow’s desk are an array of silver and gold medals from past years Scholastic Awards proving this statement true.

“When a student receives a national award they send me one of these,” he proudly showed a shiny, gold medal. “The winning percentage from [national] medals to those who get Gold Keys is nearly 1%, but we are far exceeding that at this point.”

Hingham High School students have won ten medals from the national title in the last four years. Mr. Eshow admitted, “I arrogantly expect wins. Out of the one hundred that won last year, eighty eight were from my room.”

The formula for such winning? An impressive collection of junior and senior artists. Mr. Eshow expressed, “It’s nice to have the confirmation that as a group Hingham High has been doing such a great job.” When asked if he predicts any of his students winning at nationals, he laughed and said, “I kind of assume nationals now.”

On the students’ behalf, an award is a boost in artistic confidence. Junior Jessica Carr who won both a Regional Gold Key and an Honorable Mention was “surprised to win.” Her favorite work that she entered was entitled “Lenny,” which received an Honorable Mention. The origin of the piece, Jess spoke, “was for the theme of stranger danger. We had to go ask a stranger for the picture. You had to learn about him to get his story, and now I want to become his friend.”

Senior Vinci Nguyen won a Regional Gold Key and an Honorable Mention as well. His favorite art was also the one that received an Honorable Mention, entitled “IT.”

“I was looking for a movie poster to redesign,” Vinci explained. “I have a minimal design and this popped into my head. I didn’t expect to get a Gold Key and I didn’t get the key for the work that I thought was the best, but I am proud of both my works.”

Vinci expressed a meaningful lesson to underclassmen when he explained that he “submitted a photo in sophomore year, but it didn’t work out too well. But now, the Gold Key that I got was for one of my best pieces.”

Senior Jacqueline Baker won seven art awards this year. On her work that she received an Honorable Mention for, she spoke, “I liked my piece ‘Fisherman Father’ because I wasn’t planning to take it. I saw my dad cutting up the fish in the kitchen and I decided to take a few photos and it came out better than I expected, so I enjoyed having a nice situation turn into a nice piece.”

Jacqueline received a Gold Key for a photo entitled “Gross” which she took for a Graphic Design class assignment called Less is More. “I think the way the editing came out it looks much nicer than the way it looks day to day. I like the idea of capturing something that you drive by each day and not even noticing it.”

When the results of the regional awards had come out, Jacqueline smiled and said that she “was surprised and really excited. In our Graphics group chat we were all really excited.”

Jacqueline explained, “I think some [of my works] have more of my personal inspiration and some come from the assignments I think the works I plan out and they come out a way that I really like I am more proud of than something that happens on accident.” Her past with Scholastic Art awards is also memorable. She continued, “I’ve submitted stuff for three years, I won some Gold and Silver last year, and a National Silver last year.”

Senior Ellie Bilodeau submitted work outside of her comfort zone. “I do a lot of portraits. One of my winning ones was a landscape which was outside of my usual style so that was fun because it won an Honorable Mention.”

This was also an exciting time for senior Talia Shreenan because it was her first time winning a title even though she submitted works in past years.

Senior Sam Oomen-Lochet said that he appreciates his piece “Inside the Outside” because it is “very multidimensional. With photography, specifically, I don’t have any real prior inspiration. I notice things and take pictures of that.” In “Inside the Outside” he said, “I really liked the lighting that was going on.”

Sam also explained wholeheartedly, “I was expecting some awards because I won a couple last year. I won in total thirteen this year. I was surprised about how many pieces won and I am proud of my works. I like what it represents about me as a person.”

Senior Margeaux Fortin who won fourteen awards this year explained that her favorite winning work was “Unique Bond” because “it’s of my two cousins who I️ love, and I also love the unique perspective and composition of the piece.”

For this work she said she was inspired by “the beauty and rarity of identical twin faces against the ocean.” In all, she said, “I think that this year my work displayed a more unique or even personal style compared to my submission from last year.”

Among artistic students, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards provide an opportunity to showcase their talent, skills, and dedication to creativity. Even though the regional portion of the Awards may arguably be subjective, the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards were a stellar success for Hingham’s juniors and seniors alike.

The school will be rooting for them to achieve as many national titles as possible. In the meantime, Gold Key winning works will be on display at Tufts University March 17, 2018, through March 25, 2018, for everyone and anyone to admire.