Los Alamos High School senior, Aelma Azad, has won a National Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Courtesy photo
Aelma Azad, a senior at Los Alamos High School, has won a National Gold Medal competing in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her Digital Art piece entitled “Odd Interior.” She also received a Gold Key award in Comic Art and Digital Art from the New Mexico Scholastic Art Awards, as well as a Silver Key for her Art Portfolio.
“I decided to participate in this competition to see if my skills were worth acknowledgement,” Aelma said. “I am deeply honored to receive the National Gold Metal, this is a big step in my pursuit of a career in art.” She is planning to attend CU Denver in the fall and continue pursuing art and 3D animation.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. These awards give students opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.
“I am extremely proud of Aelma and her accomplishments,” said LAHS art teacher Mary Grace. “She is an extraordinarily talented artist with a very bright future in the Creative Arts.”
In addition, senior Sarah Worley won a Gold Key award for drawing and illustration and a Silver Key for her portfolio from the New Mexico Scholastic Art Awards.
Each year, the Alliance partners with more than 100 visual arts and literary arts organizations across the country to bring the Scholastic Awards to local communities. Students in grades 7–12 apply in 29 categories of art and writing. In 2019, students submitted nearly 340,000 works of art and writing to the Scholastic Awards, as noted on the website https://www.artandwriting.org/.
Submissions are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.
Students first compete in their regional competitions where they may be awarded Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Voices & Visions. Gold Key works are then judged nationally to receive National Medals, including Gold Medals, Silver Medals, American Voices & Visions Medals, Gold Medal and Silver with Distinction Portfolio Medals, and Special Achievement Awards.