Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Ana Pranger Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 8.17.01 PM At Latin, we strive to be excellent. Different students find their excellence in different disciplines, and, at times, we have the ability to show our passions to the world. In the last months of 2014, a number of students submitted work to the regional Scholastic contest for art and writing, based in the University of Iowa. The results came back on February 4th, and six students won gold keys, entering them into the national competition. Uriah McKinney and Bayley Sherman won gold keys for photography, Remy Dhingra won a gold key for poetry, Iz Gius and Jackson Unikel received gold keys for personal essays, and Maya Sibul won a gold key for drawing. A number of other students won honorable mentions and silver keys, including Justine Zimmerman, Leah Kravitz, Layla Passman, and Hannah Perlman. The Forum spoke with a few of the gold key winners. This year’s winners found inspiration in different things. Iz found inspiration in her own life, winning the key for a personal essay about her grandparents. She searched for larger meanings, finding deeper themes in her experiences. Bayley originally did not like taking portrait pictures, but, after a trip to Tanzania, she found that pictures of people can be very powerful. She entered some of her pictures from that trip, and, although they did not win, they were her favorites. Her winning picture was of her sister underwater, taken for an ISP. Uriah found inspiration at a young age, going to the botanical gardens with his mother. He used his mom’s camera to take pictures of the flowers and nature in the gardens, piquing his interest in photography. Now, he has taken many photography classes in and outside of school—as has Bayley, which improved their picture taking abilities. For writers, Iz had some tips and tricks. She said, “submit your work!” Receiving feedback is one of the best ways to grow as an author. Going to the writing center, reading at a lunch during LitFest, or sending in to these types of awards are all different ways to get others talking and really help writers to refine work they do have and write better next time. For people interested in photography, the winners of the Scholastic contest had some different advice. Uriah said to “find pieces and topics that represent you.” When a person puts their heart and soul into their work, it shows. Creating a truly unique piece is how Uriah was able to win his gold key. Bayley said, “keep a camera on you at all times.” This goes for any discipline. Practice is vital. Layla Passman, a winner of an honorary mention, had some inspirational words for aspiring photographers. “Photography is easy and accessible, and you don’t have to be great at it to love it.” That goes for almost any hobby or sport a Latin student could do. It’s not hard to fall in love with something, and, hopefully, we all will be able to show our passions in one way or another.  ]]>