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16 Students Win 58 Regional Scholastic Art Awards
Jillian AikenMichelle Bohn
Sydney ClevelandRain Du
Kate FosterEliana Gagnon
Caldwell HoldenKay Hughes
Aniket KumtaJeanne Lauer
Nicholas LauerRose Lee
Connor LeemhuisHank Lin
Sanjna NarayanArusha Nirvan
Sixteen Shady Side Academy Senior School students were recognized with 58 regional Scholastic Art Awards in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition.

A panel of art professionals and art educators selected the students' artwork as the best submitted by teens in grades 7-12 in the Pittsburgh Arts Region (Allegheny and Butler Counties). The students won 16 Gold Keys, 21 Silver Keys and 21 Honorable Mentions, spanning seven different art categories.

Ten students won Gold Keys for 16 pieces of art, which advance for judging in the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Sophomore Jillian Aiken won a Gold Key in Ceramics & Glass for Patchwork and in Sculpture for Negative Space. Junior Sydney Cleveland won a Gold Key in Photography for Welcome Home. Senior Rain Du won a Gold Key in Digital Art for Field and Tree and in Sculpture for Breaking the Cage. Senior Caldwell Holden won a Gold Key in Art Portfolio for False Idols and in Photography for Painted Skins. Senior Kay Hughes won a Gold Key in Sculpture for Out of the Dust. Freshman Aniket Kumta won two Gold Keys in Drawing & Illustration for Etchings of Experience and Image of Innocence. Sophomore Nicholas Lauer won a Gold Key in Photography for Desert Mountain: Death Valley. Freshman Rose Lee won two Gold Keys in Painting for Not Enough Time and Past Memories. Sophomore Hank Lin won a Gold Key in Painting for City and in Drawing & Illustration for Ferris Wheel at the Carnival. Freshman Sanjna Narayan won a Gold Key in Painting for Concertino.

All regional Gold and Silver Key winning artwork will be on exhibit from Feb. 4-19, 2017, in the Student Union Center of at La Roche College in McCandless (open Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.– 2 p.m.). An awards ceremony honoring all of the regional winners will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. at the La Roche Kerr Sports & Fitness Center. A pre-awards gallery reception with entertainment and refreshments begins at 12:30 p.m.

The students are taught by Senior School visual arts faculty members Scott Aiken, Cari Batchelar and Tony Goodwin. The 16 Shady Side students winning regional Scholastic Art Awards are:

  • Jillian Aiken (senior) – 2 Gold Keys, 3 Silver Keys, 1 Honorable Mention
  • Michelle Bohn (sophomore) – 1 Silver Key, 1 Honorable Mention
  • Sydney Cleveland (junior) – 1 Gold Key, 2 Silver Keys, 4 Honorable Mentions
  • Rain Du (senior) – 2 Gold Keys, 1 Silver Key
  • Kate Foster (senior) – 1 Honorable Mention
  • Eliana Gagnon (sophomore) – 1 Honorable Mention
  • Caldwell Holden (senior) – 2 Gold Keys, 1 Silver Key, 2 Honorable Mentions [Note: Holden also won seven Regional Scholastic Writing Awards]
  • Kay Hughes (senior) – 1 Gold Key, 3 Silver Keys
  • Aniket Kumta (freshman) – 2 Gold Keys
  • Jeanne Lauer (junior) – 4 Honorable Mentions
  • Nicholas Lauer (sophomore) – 1 Gold Key, 2 Silver Keys, 1 Honorable Mention
  • Rose Lee (freshman) – 2 Gold Keys, 2 Silver Keys
  • Connor Leemhuis (sophomore) – 1 Honorable Mention
  • Hank Lin (sophomore) – 2 Gold Keys, 3 Silver Keys, 1 Honorable Mention
  • Sanjna Narayan (freshman) – 1 Gold Key, 3 Honorable Mentions
  • Arusha Nirvan (freshman) – 3 Silver Keys, 1 Honorable Mention

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity and talent of our nation's youth and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. The awards are presented by The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, which partners with visual and literary arts organizations across the country to bring the awards to local communities. Teens in grades 7–12 can apply in 29 categories of art and writing; last year, students submitted nearly 320,000 works. Submissions are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, who look for works that exemplify originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Students receiving regional awards are celebrated at local exhibitions and ceremonies. Gold Key works are then judged nationally, and National Medalists are recognized at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Notable alumni of the awards include Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, Richard Linklater, Zac Posen and Lena Dunham.

See the Regional Scholastic Writing Awards announcement.

View a slideshow of some of our students' Gold Key-winning artwork:


To submit an idea for a website news story, please email jroupe@shadysideacademy.org.

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