CFISD artists claim national Scholastic Art & Writing awards

March 25, 2019

Cypress Woods High School senior Taylor Powers earned a national Gold Medal in the Art Portfolio category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition. Her submission was also among eight entries to earn a Gold Medal Portfolio Award for art and a $10,000 scholarship.
Cypress Woods High School senior Taylor Powers earned a national Gold Medal in the Art Portfolio category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition. Her submission was also among eight entries to earn a Gold Medal Portfolio Award for art and a $10,000 scholarship.

March 25, 2019—Eight CFISD student artists were among the record-setting 96 National Scholastic Art & Writing medals earned by Harris County artists, the New York nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced March 20.

The students advanced from a regional competition sponsored by the Harris County Department of Education and their work is displayed at art exhibits and celebrations around Houston.

Area students competed among 340,000 works of art and writing submitted for judging throughout the nation across 29 different categories. Of those, approximately 2,700 received national recognition from the Alliance and are invited to a ceremony June 6 at Carnegie Hall in New York City with surprise appearances from notable celebrities and creative leaders.

Cypress Woods High School senior Taylor Powers was among CFISD’s five artists to earn Gold Medals for their submissions. In addition, Powers and her Art Portfolio submission, titled Human Nature, obtained top honors – she earned 1 of 8 Gold Medal Portfolio Awards for art and a $10,000 scholarship.

“I feel so special and so honored to receive this award,” Powers said. “I never thought that I would be someone to receive such an amazing opportunity in the few years I have been doing photography. I am very glad that I could find the creativity, within myself and with help from my photography teacher, to branch out and experiment with my art to create an award winning portfolio. I don't think I would've had this opportunity without the support from my friends and family and I would like to thank them very much for this wonderful blessing.”

Added Cypress Woods Photography Teacher Tina Fox: “There really are no words to describe how thrilled I am for Taylor. She is so deserving of this national Scholastic Award for a number of reasons. She just works every day, without stopping, until she is 100 percent satisfied with the end result. Her portfolio is a creative and unique interpretation of how parts of the human body can resemble a landscape.”

Cypress Woods High School senior Colby Gregory earned a national Gold Medal in the Photography category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.
Cypress Woods High School senior Colby Gregory earned a national Gold Medal in the Photography category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.

Cypress Ridge High School senior Rachel Chang earned a national Gold Medal in the Mixed Media category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.
Cypress Ridge High School senior Rachel Chang earned a national Gold Medal in the Mixed Media category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.

Cypress Woods senior Colby Gregory and Cypress Ridge High School senior Rachel Chang also earned Gold Medals for art. Gregory’s submission, titled Tough Love, was in the Photography category. Chang, who is taught by Shawna Billet, earned her Gold Medal in Mixed Media for her work, titled Indestructible Woman.

“It is an amazing feeling to have my work recognized,” Gregory said. “I am honored to be considered for this award and am incredibly grateful to my photography teacher, my parents, and my peers who push me to improve every single day”

Said Chang: “My works explore my critical views on political, social and economic issues that I believe make up a crucial part of my own identity. As a Gold Medal winner for the Scholastic Writing & Art Awards, I have the opportunity to let my message reach a wider audience than I've ever imagined.”

Cypress Falls High School sophomore Emily Lara earned a national Gold Medal in the Poetry category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.
Cypress Falls High School sophomore Emily Lara earned a national Gold Medal in the Poetry category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.

Langham Creek High School senior Hallie Thomson earned a national Gold Medal in the Flash Fiction category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.
Langham Creek High School senior Hallie Thomson earned a national Gold Medal in the Flash Fiction category of the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.

In writing, Cypress Falls High School sophomore Emily Lara and Langham Creek High School senior Hallie Thomson were Gold Medal winners.

Lara, who is taught by Leslie Laird, earned a Gold Medal in Poetry for her piece, 1941. Thomson, who is taught by Kassie Fulmer, earned a Gold Medal in Flash Fiction for her submission, titled After All.

“To be chosen as a national winner for Scholastic Art & Writing feels surreal,” Lara said. “Writing has always been something I've strived to become good at and to be recognized among so many talented writers across the nation means the world to me. More than anything, it's confirmation that I am doing something right with my writing.”

Said Thomson: “I’m most grateful that the subject of my piece resonated with the judges so well. I wrote about a soldier who served in Iraq and how it affected him and his worldview. The fact that it won in nationals is a sign that people understand the importance of our troops overseas, and the sacrifices they make.

Three other CFISD student artists claimed national Silver Medals in the competition:

  • Yarah Franco Gonzalez, a Langham Creek senior taught by Elizabeth Martinez, won for her Digital Art submission, Channels;
  • Mia Lawton, a Bridgeland High School junior taught by Brad Conklin, won for her Digital Art entry, Holding On; and
  • Leslie Nguyen, a Langham Creek senior taught by Bohye Na, won for her Drawing and Illustration submission, Physics.

Visit the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards website at www.artandwriting.org for more information.

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