2022 National Medalists Winners Announced, Derek Fordjour Won Alumni Achievement Award

2022 Scholastic Awards Alumni Achievement Award recipient, distinguished multidisciplinary artist Derek Fordjour

Student participation in the Awards is up by 25% from 2021, with more than 40,000 students receiving regional and national recognition, highlighting the demand for creative outlets among teens

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Announce the 2022 National Medalists

NEW YORK, March 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced the National Medalists in the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards—the nation's longest running and most prestigious program for creative teens in grades 7–12—and shared that student participation is up 25% from 2021. More than 260,000 works of art and writing were submitted by teens from U.S. territories, Canada, and every state in the nation. Works by 40,000 teens received regional recognition, and nearly 2,000 works earned national awards.

For the past 99 years, the Awards have empowered creative teens and celebrated their voices. The Awards continue to champion and support teens' originality and creative prowess, as well as bolster their artistic and literary futures through opportunities for publication, exhibition, and scholarships. The Awards encourage students to build confidence as creative individuals and to trust that their voice is important. Many esteemed artists and writers received some of their earliest validation from the Awards, including Andy Warhol, Tschabalala Self, Joyce Carol Oates, Kay WalkingStick, Charles White, Stephen King, and the 2022 Scholastic Awards Alumni Achievement Award recipient, distinguished multidisciplinary artist Derek Fordjour.

The Awards also value and recognize the dedication of thousands of educators across the nation who inspire, encourage, and motivate their students each year to push themselves to dream, craft, and submit works of remarkable art and writing. In acknowledgment of the major role educators have played in the success of the Awards and their students for the past nine decades, the Alliance provides medals, cash rewards, and the opportunity to participate in professional development programs to select educators whose students receive regional or national recognition.

Chris Wisniewski, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said: "Each year we are continually impressed by the level of creativity demonstrated by our nation's teens. Even more impressive are the individuality, vulnerability, sensitivity, and passion reflected in their work. Teens and their teachers have been living through truly unprecedented times, enduring unbelievably challenging circumstances. We're all privileged to experience this year's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards medalists' accomplishments, which channel the hopes, fears, anger, frustrations, desires—voices—of remarkable young people to inspire us all. We thank the educators who guided and supported these students through this past year while still encouraging creative expression."

To honor the challenges this year's participants overcame and the accomplishments they have achieved, as well as celebrate the Awards' return to Carnegie Hall after a two-year hiatus, the Awards have identified a record-high 22 recipients of the program's highest honor in 2022, the Gold Medal Portfolio Award, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.

The 2022 Gold Medal Portfolio Award winners are:

Gold Portfolios, Art:

  • Lily Arnold, Franklin, TN
    • Educator: Michael Boyle
  • Gina Bae, Palo Alto, CA
    • Educator: Alan Chan
  • Mac Barnes, Durham, NC
    • Educator: Carrie Alter
  • Hayden Brashear, Denver, CO
    • Educator: Martin Loftus
  • Lorie Chen, Troy, MI
    • Educator: Todd Burroughs
  • Dessa Ely, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Educator: Matthew Vary & Glen Novak
  • Ava Hudson, Portland, OR
    • Educator: Addy Kessler
  • Shaeley Lincoln, Towson, MD
    • Educator: Joe Cypressi
  • Tess Nelson, Eden Prairie, MN
    • Educator: Rebecca Johannsen
  • Andrew Palmer, Richmond, VA
    • Educator: Genevieve Dowdy & Mary Scurlock
  • Franchesca Vilmenay, Boston, MA
    • Educator: Sara Macaulay

Gold Portfolios, Writing:

  • Amina Adeyola, Chesterfield, VA
    • Educator: Cindy Cunningham & Gail Giewont
  • Samantha Aikman, Jericho, VT
    • Educator: Spencer Rosner
  • Serene Almehmi, Vestavia, AL
    • Educator: Ben Davis
  • Ashley Binstock, Wahoo, NE
    • Educator: Marisa Grady
  • Claudia Comini, APO, AE
    • Educator: Heather Gurnsey
  • Mukta Dharmapurikar, Durham, NC
    • Educator: Adam Cluff
  • Maya McFadden, Jackson, MS
    • Educator: Sarah Ballard
  • William Meng, Novi, MI
    • Educator: Eric Sutton
  • Destiny Ouellette, Vernon Rockville, CT
    • Educator: Victoria Nordlund
  • Deja Robinson, New Orleans, LA
    • Educator: Anne Gisleson
  • Trini Rogando, Alexandria, VA
    • Educator: Josephine Porcelli

In addition to the 28 eligible categories—including drawing and illustration, photography, flash fiction, poetry, film and animation, journalism and more—students can also submit their work to a variety of sponsored award scholarships. The 2022 Cash Awards include:

  • Best-in-Grade Award: Underwritten by Bloomberg Philanthropies, this Award provides $500 scholarships to 24 Gold Medal recipients (two artists and two writers per grades 7–12).
  • Civic Expression Award: Underwritten by The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, this award provides $1,000 scholarships for original works of art or writing that promote responsible civic life. The six recipients are: Emily Bennett, Cortland, OH; Maya Dabney, Huntersville, NC; Sara Homma, San Antonio, TX; Ava Paulsen, Castaic, CA; Samantha Podnar, Wexford, PA; and Kadi Sacko, West Fargo, ND.
  • The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon: Underwritten by The Herb Block Foundation, the Editorial Cartoon category celebrates the legacy of four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Herb Block and his remarkable contribution to American history and free expression. The three teen artists who receive $1,000 scholarships for their outstanding drawings, illustrations, or animations offering commentary on current events or political topics are: Ava Fong, Princeton, NJ; Asya Sozen, Cazenovia, NY; and Polina van Hulsen, Palo Alto, CA.
  • New York Life Award: Underwritten by New York Life Foundation, the national award provides six scholarships of $1,000 each to students whose work explores personal grief, loss, and bereavement, and exemplifies how the arts can act as a positive outlet to cope with these issues. This year's recipients are: Gwen Canfield, Columbus, OH; Taylor Herron, Brookhaven, MS; Brooke Johnsen, Fort Calhoun, NE; Sofia Monteleone, Pelham, AL; Adeline Nevins, Saint Louis, MO; and Raquel Pihlstrom, Lake Oswego, OR.
  • One Earth Award: Underwritten by the Salamander Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, this award provides four students with $1,000 scholarships for creative works that encourage the awareness of, and meaningful responses to, pressing issues of human-caused climate change. This year's recipients are: Gwyn Barnholtz, West Chester, OH; Eli Browne, La Jolla, CA; Eduarda Favero, Boca Raton, FL; and Mustafa Haque, Plano, TX.
  • Additional awards and scholarships for students are made possible through the support of Apple TV+, Blick Art Materials, Command Companies, Jay Pritzker Foundation, Jill and Peter Kraus, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, The New York Times, and The Roome Fund, among others.

To learn more, and to find a complete list of the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national award winners, visit: artandwriting.org.

Award Selection
Regional awards and national medals are selected without knowledge of the student's name, gender or gender identity, age, ethnicity, or school. The absence of biographical data enables work to be judged purely on its own terms through the prisms of originality, skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. There are no limits on content. Other variables are taken into consideration to determine scholarship recipients.

Entries are first adjudicated regionally through more than 100 regional partners of the Alliance. Teens receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, and American Visions & Voices Nominations are celebrated within their communities through exhibitions and ceremonies. Gold Key works are then judged nationally by an impressive panel of creative-industry experts to receive Gold, Silver, and American Visions & Voices Medals, and Gold Medal Portfolio or Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio Awards. Top National Medalists are invited to an in-person National Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Thursday, June 9, 2022.

About the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and are made possible through the generosity of Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, New York Life Foundation, Command Companies, The Herb Block Foundation, The Jay Pritzker Foundation, Blick Art Materials, The New York Times, National Endowment for the Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies,  the Salamander Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, Apple TV+, Lindenmeyr, Salesforce, Garcia Family Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Hearthland Foundation, the Poetry Foundation, and Academy of American Poets.

For more information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, visit artandwriting.org. Additional details about the Awards can be found in the Scholastic media room: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/artandwriting.