Louisville’s KMAC Museum Is Hosting The Equivalent Of The Oscars For The Teen Art World This Year

KMAC Museum is hosting the Scholastic Gold Key Award winners and American Voices nominees for 2022. This exhibition opens this Friday, Feb. 4 (weather permitting) and continues through March 6.  The official show information is: February 4, 2022 – March 6, 2022 and Exhibition Opening: Friday, February 4, 2022, 5-9pm

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing program has recognized creative teens all over the United States. It is the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. Apparently, it is known as the “Oscars” of the teen art world. The Alliance’s mission is to identify talented students and help them present their work through the Scholastic Art and Writing awards. The Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 

The past winners of this award are pretty amazing. Artists and designers like Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, Charles White, Kay WalkingStick, Red Grooms, Robert Indiana, Richard Avedon, Zac Posen, and Tschabalala Self, are amongst the very famous previous awardees. 

From a release: 

“The Art Awards program recognizes the work of talented young artists in Grades 7-12. Jurors from a wide variety of art disciplines (professional artists, college/university faculty, and retired art educators) evaluate each work entered in one of sixteen 2D and 3D art and design process categories. Middle school submissions are juried separately from high school. Jurors do not know students’ names, schools, race, or gender and artwork is judged solely on three criteria: originality, technical proficiency, and emergence of a personal vision/style.

More than 13 million students have participated and more than $40 million has been distributed nationally in awards and scholarships in the past five years alone! Each year, more than 77,000 students in grades 7 through 12 participate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Young artists across the country submit more than 300,000 creative works of art to a network of approximately 82 regional art affiliates.”

​Jefferson County Public Schools is the Regional Affiliate for the Art portion of the awards in the Louisville Metro Area and has been so since 1991. The counties covered in this region are: “Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Henry, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, and Spencer in Kentucky; Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, and Washington in southern Indiana. “Teens, grades 7-12 and ages 13-18, from public, private, and parochial schools, as well as homeschooled students, are eligible to participate.”

​How is the process decided?

“Students register and submit entries using the Online Registration System (ORS) on the national website.  A parent or guardian is required to sign submission forms, permitting their teen to submit specific artworks and participate in the Awards program.  After the deadline for submissions, panels of local jurors blindly adjudicate all submissions by category for which signed submissions forms were sent to the regional office.  Jurors are asked to weight three core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal vision in determining whether a submission receives a Scholastic Award.   No works submitted that follow the national and regional guidelines are disqualified from awards for content…complete freedom of expression; but awarded works with sensitive content may not be exhibited due to school, museum, or gallery policies.”

Learn more about the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards here.

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About the Author

Louisville’s KMAC Museum Is Hosting The Equivalent Of The Oscars For The Teen Art World This Year

Erica Rucker is LEO Weekly’s editor-in-chief. In addition to her work at LEO, she is a haphazard writer, photographer, tarot card reader, and fair-to-middling purveyor of motherhood. Her earliest memories are of telling stories to her family and promising that the next would be shorter than the first. They never were. You can follow Erica on Twitter, but beware of honesty, overt blackness, and occasional geeky outrage.


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