An astounding 70 Niles Township High School District 219 artists earned recognition in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, an organization that identifies teens with exceptional literary and artistic talent. The competition, founded in 1923, is the nation’s longest-running, largest, most prestigious recognition program for creative teenagers in the visual and literary arts. Notable past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates.
The Awards are an important opportunity for students to be recognized for their creative talents. Teens in grades 7 through 12 can apply in 30 categories of art and writing for the chance to earn scholarships and have their works exhibited or published.
Gold Key winners have achieved the highest level of recognition on the regional level. Their work is sent to compete on a national level for scholarships. Gold Key winners: (Niles North) Andrew Ardelean, photography; Richa Basnet, design; Marom Benzaken, drawing; Lianne Coballes, drawing; Serena Hocharoen, mixed media and drawing; and Diana Shlikhtova, drawing. Silver Key winners demonstrate a high level of achievement. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of all regional submissions earn Silver Key Awards. Silver Key winners: (Niles North) Andrew Ardelean, photography; Hoa Cao, design; Taylor Hillen, design; Justin Salomon, design; Kevin Luc, photography; Corie Adams, drawing; Shenar Dinkha, photography; Gabrielle General, drawing; Anna Hershinow, drawing; Serena Hocharoen, drawing; Alexa Jasenof, drawing; Noreen Khan, ceramic/glass; Marta Lemesh, photography; Kelsey Pedrosa, drawing; Anna Poloz, drawing; and Jungha Suk, drawing. The Honorable Mention Award recognizes students with artistic potential. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of all regional submissions receive these awards. Honorable Mention: (Niles North) Andrew Ardelean, digital art; Arina Durmic, photography; Saba Kalantarpour, design; Regina Roberg, photography (3 awards); Corie Adams, drawing; Mali Gorovoy, drawing; Sarah Lewin, drawing; Mateo Ruiz, painting; and Victoria Sorin, drawing.
The Alliance presents over $250,000 annually in awards and scholarships to top winners of the Awards and their teachers. Niles North and Niles West award winners are taught by (Niles North) Lori Real, Deanna Sortino and Amy Zwikel.