- Sponsorship -

Students Net National Awards for Artwork, Invited to Carnegie Hall

A unique necklace, camouflaged window cling, picture of colorful fish and a black-and-white photo of a thoughtful woman are the creative artworks that have gained local students national recognition.

Three Byron Center students and one East Grand Rapids local art student received top awards for their artwork, winning National Medals for this year’s Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. As national winners in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards contest their work was chosen from about 300,000 pieces of work submitted to the program across the country.

Katherine Minnaar's piece “Pisces.”
Katherine Minnaar’s piece “Pisces.”

Each student qualified for the national award by winning a top Gold Key Award at the 2015 West Central Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards event recently hosted by Kendall College of Art and Design.

Past Scholastic winners include Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, among many other notables.

Byron Center West Middle School eighth-graders Jordan Cooper and Anna Pavlak, students of art teacher Janine Campbell, received gold medals. Byron Center High School senior Katherine Minnaar, student of audio-visual teacher Julie VanderLaan, received a silver medal. East Grand Rapids junior Addyson Ives, student of Visual Art & Design Technology Elizabeth Miller-Wallau, received a silver medal. Addyson was also awarded the coveted American Visions Medal, given to one Gold Key-winning work from each regional competition.

Byron Center West Middle School student shows her piece, “Neck Nib”
Byron Center West Middle School student shows her piece, “Neck Nib”

Their Works

Anna created a necklace out of tips of calligraphy pens for a project to transform old things into something new, she said. She titled the piece, “The Neck Nib.”

“I think it’s cool to make something you can use,” she said.

Jordan’s piece is a photo of a window cling she made picturing herself on it and then displayed at a Target store. It’s called “Been There, Done That,” and she created it for an assignment on identity.

Byron Center senior Katherine Minnaar won for her picture, “Pisces,” of colorful fish.

Addyson photographed a close family friend, who is mentally challenged, sitting by herself in a living-room setting.

“It was a good moment to capture,” said Addyson, who is in teacher Visual Art & Design Technology Elizabeth Miller-Wallau’s photography class.

The students are invited to attend the National Award Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 11.


Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


The year of learning differently

SNN asked a sampling of students from across the county how it’s going for them so far in a school year of multiple instruction models...

‘I want it to look happy’

With help from generous donors, elementary teachers worked to make welcoming, kid-friendly space while following the rules of social distancing and sanitation...

New VP says ‘It feels like joining a family’

Aaron Romoslawski is the new vice principal of Sparta High School. He takes over for Stacey Rumsey, who was named Sparta High School principal last spring...

The changing of guard – as long-time educator and AD welcomes a new one

Godwin Heights Football Coach Brandon Kimble will take over as the district’s athletic director when Robert Hisey, dean of students and athletic director, officially retires Nov. 2...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Districts ponder how to keep students learning, engaged

Teachers are challenged to keep their style of instruction intact with students who are socially distanced and, often, not in the building at all...

Students return to classrooms for first time since March

'It’s a little different, and a little strange. ... but it seems like it’s going to be fine'...

Making the best of it

Students, parents, teachers and others share their feelings about the start of this unprecedented school year...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU