Scholastic Arts Awards features Writing Awards for the first time at Marywood


Photo credit/ Amanda Duncklee

Amanda Duncklee, Community Editor

Accomplished high school and middle school artists have long traveled to Marywood University for the annual Scholastic Art Awards for Northeastern Pennsylvania. For the first time this year, young writers also received recognition for their talents.

Information brochures were available for attendees to take and read up on the know more about the history of the event as well learn the names of those who won Art Awards.

In 1923, the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers formed, and creative youth were able to showcase their work in the Scholastics Arts Awards, according to the brochure. While Art Awards were given to students at Marywood, Writing Awards have not been a part of the ceremony until this year.

Students from 13 counties in the region along with their guests, teachers and any other visitor who wished to attend, gathered in the Latour Room of Nazareth Student Center at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, for the awards ceremony.

Attendees were able to go to the Mahady Gallery in the Shields Center for Visual Arts and view select works following the hour and a half ceremony.

Sandra Povse, the Gallery Director at Marywood University for 20 years, hosted the event. This is Povse’s final year as the Gallery Director. For the past 20 years Povse has prepared the ceremony as well as the gallery for the students’ work.

“Even though the ceremony is basic and informal, we work very hard to make it their [the students] day and moment,” said Povse.

Students were able to submit their work onto the Scholastic Art Awards website. Nine art judges and 15 writing judges chose winners in three categories: Honorable Mention, Silver Key, and Gold Key. Silver and Gold Key art recipients have their works on display in the Mahady Gallery until Feb. 17.

Due to space availability, Honorable Mention recipients’ works are not on display, but a continuous slide show of the Honorable Mentions played during the ceremony.

Povse greeted the audience, and then played a video greeting from renowned filmmaker Ken Burns, a winner in the 1971 Scolastics Art Awards.

Burns had prerecorded a greeting, in which he offered inspiring words to the young creators.

“You may not know what you want to do, and that’s perfectly okay,” said Burns. “We need to work together to keep creating.”

After his greeting, Povse introduced English professor Dr. Laurie McMillan, the Facilitator of Regional Writing Awards. When Marywood decided to facilitate the Writing Awards, McMillan was the English chairperson, so the position as the Facilitator of Regional Writing Awards was hers. McMillan stated that in light of the new writing major within the English department, hosting the Writing Awards at Marywood was a “good fit.”

Before presenting the awards, McMillan spoke to the crowd.

“It takes a lot of courage to share writing, and it takes even more courage to share writing publicly,” said McMillan. To the students, McMillan said, “I’m really impressed by your courage, and I think we’re all really grateful for it.”

After speaking to the crowd, McMillan presented the writing awards to students. Three Gold Key winners read excerpts of their works to the crowd. Following their readings, the audience applauded for both the winners as well as the winner’s educators.

After a five minute intermission, the Art Awards portion of the ceremony commenced.

Marguerite I. Fuller, former Marywood graduate student and current adjunct art faculty member and assistant to Povse since 2008, was the Regional Art Facilitator. Fuller helped set up the Mahady Gallery.

“I’ve been handling the Gold and Silver Key artwork all day,” said Fuller to the audience. “It’s good to see who’s behind them!”

When giving the awards, Fuller called the students’ instructors so that the instructors could give their own students the awards. Following the distribution of awards, assistant professor of art Mark Webber spoke.

“We’re really impressed with our colleagues who are teaching in the high schools,” said Webber. “There’s probably nothing more frightening for a parent than their child studying art at a college level. We want you all to keep in mind that there are hundreds and hundreds of careers in art that can be explored.”

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