Written by Meghan Denison |
Photos by Meghan Denison and Mrs. Mularski|
The Scholastic Art and Writing Competition is a regional and national competition for high school students with budding creative talents. Students can compete in categories such as writing, painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, fashion and so much more. First, students submit work to regionals, with awards for “Best in…”, Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable mention. Gold Key winners are then sent to nationals in their artistic category to compete at that level. Scholarships and awards are sponsored by different organizations such as the CAEA (Connecticut Art Education Association), Jerry’s Artarama of Connecticut, Connecticut Women’s Artist Award, and many from the Hartford Art College.
Here at The Morgan School, students competed in photography under digital imaging/technology teachers Jessica Mularski and Ted Enoch. Seniors were required to submit portfolios, single submissions or more if they chose to, but underclassmen were only allowed single submissions. There were many who entered this year from our own digital imaging classes with several students winning recognition. Congratulations to Seniors Ashley Annicelli and Kylee Clifton who received honorable mention on two of their pictures, and Senior Meghan Denison and Sophomore Anna Limauro who received Silver Key for one of each of their pictures. Congrats as well to all who entered. All students put an endless amount of work into this and should definitely be proud of the work they created.
“An art contest like this is a really great opportunity for creative students to be able to show their talents and strengths in photography and the arts. Normally it’s the athletes that get all the credit and all the glory, but while it was tricky getting into it, the scholastic contest really helps to shine a light on the kids who put their heart into what they do, and they really deserve it,” said Ashley Annicelli. With this competition, came great opportunities and exposure to the art world on a level not available anywhere else.
Mrs. Mularski, who has been at the head of this whole operation, claimed that she believes in the opportunity it gives her students: “It also gives you a lot of street cred. It has had a lot of famous people win it, people like Truman Capote for writing and Bernard Malamud for writing and then for art, Andy Warhol.” The opportunity that students have to compete “against the greats” is “awesome” according to Mrs. Mularski.
Although it was a great time, it wasn’t all fun and games. There were some struggles getting into it that brought students’ spirits down, but they persevered. It was originally thought that each picture had to be printed and hand submitted. Instead, students only needed to print the ones receiving recognition. Along with the cost of submission, students had a short amount of time to work on their submissions. It was even shorter if they only had access to the school’s cameras and programs. Despite these complications, the school was very successful because Morgan had six photos place which is hard to accomplish when competing against so many other schools, even the bigger schools.
Mrs. Mularski praised the authentic learning opportunities provided for students through the program. “I think it’s a very authentic task of what it would be to create art and put it out into the world,” Mrs. Mularski said. “It’s what the process is. They get the opportunity to go see it at the gallery. They have the award ceremony.” she explained, “It’s the opportunity to really do the required work.”