Record-breaking 59 national Scholastic Art & Writing Medals earned by area teens after regional advancement through Harris County Department of Education

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March 21, 2017 by HCDE Communications

Harris County student artists and writers in grades 7-12 earn 59 national Scholastic Art Record-breaking 59 national Scholastic Art & Writing Medals earned by area teens after regional advancement through Harris County Department of Education& Writing Medals through awards announced by the New York nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers on March 14.  The students advanced from a regional competition sponsored by Harris County Department of Education, and their work is exhibited at art exhibits and celebrations in Houston.

The Awards, founded in 1923, allow creative teen artists and writers to earn recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships.  View the list of the 59 medalists: .

National medalists from Harris County increased from 50 in 2016 to a record 59 in 2017.   Gold medalists, the top award, more than doubled in Harris County, increasing from 12 in 2016 to 28 in 2017. Nationally, about 2,500 students are recognized overall as medalists this year.

“We have an amazing number of talented teen artists in Houston and Harris County,” said Harris County School Superintendent James Colbert, Jr. “We celebrate the teachers and volunteer judges, along with the community supporters who provide venues for artist ceremonies and receptions.”

Four area receptions and celebrations display art and recognize the young artists in March.  View the list:

In addition, regional Scholastic Art & Writing sponsor Harris County Department of Education is being recognized for its extraordinary dedication to the Awards program as a regional affiliate.  The award for “2017 Gold Key for Excellence in the Field” will be awarded in a national ceremony at Carnegie Hall June 8, 2017. Andrea Segraves coordinates the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for HCDE and is applauded by organizers for growing the program in Harris County.

“I remain in awe of the talent and original voice of the creative teens in our region and am humbled to be a part of this outstanding, time-honored, fine arts program,” said Segraves.

Area teens competed among a record-breaking 330,000 works of art and writing submitted for judging throughout the nation across 29 different categories. Through the 2017 Awards, students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships. Past winners include celebrated artists and writers such as Robert Redford, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, John Lithgow, Joyce Carol Oates and Sylvia Plath.

Sharing in the national limelight are students from public school districts Alief, Aldine, Cypress-Fairbanks, Deer Park, Galena Park, Houston, Katy, Klein, Pasadena, Pearland and Spring Branch.  Private school medalists are from Duchesne Academy of Sacred Heart, The Kinkaid School, River Oaks Baptist School, Strake Jesuit College Prep School, St. John’s School, St. Thomas High School and The Village School.

Gold Key Medalists, Gold Portfolio awardees and Silver Medal with Distinction students are invited to a ceremony in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on June 8 with surprise appearances from notable celebrities and creative leaders. Work from more than 1,000 students is exhibited from June 2-12 at several prominent New York galleries.  For a complete list of the 50 national awards for Harris County teens, go to .

Photo: Fatemeh Ebrahimi, a student at Taylor High School in Katy Independent School District, poses with teacher Ashley Niemi with her sculpture: “Talk to the Hands.” Ebrahimi won a national Gold Medal for her sculpture through Scholastic Art & Writing, as well as a regional Gold Key from Harris County Department of Education. She and her teacher are eligible to travel to New York City’s Carnegie Hall to gain the national award. Her sculpture is on display at Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring St., through March 30.

About Scholastic Art & Writing: Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious educational initiative supporting student achievement in the visual and literary arts. The program has an impressive legacy of being the first to acknowledge creative talent and is today’s largest source of scholarships for creative teens

About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE helps school districts in the state’s largest county meet the needs of uniquely challenged learners, directly serving students at their schools or one of four HCDE-operated campuses across the county. Learn about these services and more at .

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