In early June, recent graduate Vladimir Sepetov and rising senior Jessica Lin attended a special ceremony held at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the national winners of this year’s Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Sepetov received a silver medal award for mixed media, and Lin won a silver medal in the novel writing category.
“It was awesome,” Sepetov recalled. “A lot of really talented students were there and it was really amazing to see the breadth of work that won and was exhibited.” One of the highlights for Sepetov was seeing famed conceptual artist John Baldessari speak at the ceremony. “I was actually able to meet him before the ceremony for a quick handshake,” Sepetov said. “It was super cool.”
“It was really magical to be surrounded by other young artists who share amazing dedication and passion for the arts,” Lin said. “Everyone became friends really quickly, and we took turns telling the crazy stories behind our projects.”
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk also appeared as a surprise guest speaker, as he was one of the judges for new video game category. The Empire State Building was also illuminated during the night of the ceremony.
The day after the ceremony, Scholastic’s “Talk & Tours” program gave attendees the opportunity to view lectures and get a better view at various art and design programs. Sepetov went to a lecture at the School of Visual Arts that discussed how the arts could be used to benefit society. “I plan on majoring in design next year so it was really cool to get another look at design professionally,” Sepetov said.
Both students looked back fondly on their experience participating in the competition. “As a young writer/painter/sculptor/etc., there’s a lot of uncertainty about your work and you don’t really know where to start,” said Lin. “The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards gives young artists an opportunity to gain recognition and confidence.”