Academy scores big in Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

On Jan. 19, the annual Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards announced their West Central Michigan 2016 Art Award recipients, and Interlochen Arts Academy stood out as a major winner in a variety of categories. Three arts divisions, Creative Writing, Visual Arts and Motion Picture Arts, all produced award-winning entries, bringing home more than 100 total awards. Impressively, three Interlochen students were also selected for the prestigious American Visions & Voices category. Only five works are selected from all the Gold Key works as the “Best in Show” for the entire region, and Interlochen received three of these five.

In total, Interlochen students were awarded 43 Gold Keys, 29 Silver Keys, 33 Honorable Mentions, 1 Gold Art Portfolio award, 3 Silver Art Portfolio awards and 5 Honorable Mention Art Portfolios.

Award winners include a wide range of students, from first-years to post-grads, with recognition in a wide range of categories including film, animation, photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing and illustrating, ceramics, glass work, design, fashion, flash fiction, short story, poetry, and dramatic script, and others such as sci-fi/fantasy, personal essay/memoir, critical essay, and journalism.

"It is always exciting to see such wonderful results in the Scholastic Competition, which showcases the talent and hard work of the students and validates the dedicated teaching of faculty,” said Edward C. (Ted) Farraday, Interlochen Center for the Arts’ vice president of education programs. “This year, in particular, we were fortunate to have so many of our young writers win awards in such a variety of writing forms. I extend my congratulations to all the students in the Creative Writing, Motion Picture Arts and Visual Arts programs who placed in the Scholastic competition."

Of the awards, 18 were won by Interlochen’s creative writing majors. Creative Writing entries accumulated a whopping 95 total awards, including 17 prestigious Gold Keys. In addition, two juniors, Lizzie Lemieux (the 2015 Virginia Ball Scholarship winner) and Alexa Curnutte, had their original works nominated for the American Visions and Voices award. Lemieux had four pieces nominated and Cumutte had one.

Visual arts students won 42 Gold Key awards, 32 Silver Key awards, and 38 honorable mentions. One Gold Key-winning work was nominated for an American Vision Award as the Western Central Michigan Region's "Best in Show." Samantha Thiele’s photo, The Woman, will be in competition for the American Visions and Voices Award at the national level.

Three of Interlochen’s Motion Picture Arts students received top honors for their work in film and animation. Top-ranked Gold Key awards were won by students John Chigas for his film Girls Don’t Cry Wolf, Colter Fellows for the film Haunt Box, and Whitney Yuen for her film Trip.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity and talent of the nation's youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. The Awards are presented by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarship.

Interlochen is incredibly proud of these award-winning students, and congratulates them along with the faculty that helped them produce such impressive work.