Gold Key winner "Reading," a sculpture by Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School student Helen Ferrick, won a Gold Key at the Scholastic Art Awards.

Awards honor outstanding teen artists

Gold Key winner "Reading," a sculpture by Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School student Helen Ferrick, won a Gold Key at the Scholastic Art Awards.

Thousands of creative Central New York junior and senior high students submitted their best art work and hundreds received honors for their award winning entries in the 2012 Central New York Scholastic Art Awards program, sponsored by M&T Bank.

Over 4,500 works of art were judged in 15 categories for entry in national competition and to receive local cash prizes and special recognition. Following the recent Awards Ceremony, a 1,000 piece exhibit of winning art works was unveiled at Onondaga Community College. The exhibit is free and open to the public through March 2 in the Whitney Applied Technology Center on OCC’s campus. Select works will also be on display at the Everson Museum of Art, in Syracuse, in March. Gold (first place), silver (second place) and honorable mention awards were given for eight-piece senior portfolios of fine art and photography, as well as individual pieces from juniors and seniors representing categories that include painting, sculpture, film & animation, textiles and more.

Local students receiving awards included:


Silver Key, Fine Arts Portfolio: Megan Mahaney.

Silver Key, Photography Portfolio: Taylor Braun.

Honorable Mention, Photography Portfolio: Emily Fleischman, Naomi Greco.

Gold Key: Abigail Allen, Jewelry; Criszer Cabanlig, Drawing; Jane Coty, Jewelry; Emily Fleischman, Photography; Emily Henderson, Drawing; Megan Mahaney, Design; Keegan Taylor, Design.

Silver Key: Chrissy Abare, Photography (two pieces); Drake Becksted, Design; Taylor Braun, Drawing (two pieces); Austin DeMott, Digital Art; Aviriana Follet, Jewelry; Paige Hart, Design; Megan Mahaney, Drawing; Patricia  Talamo, Jewelry and Photography (two pieces).

Honorable Mention:  Chrissy Abare, Taylor Braun, Emily Fleischman, Naomi Greco, Michelle Hannock, Ashley Pitters, Eve Simmonds, Patricia  Talamo.


JC Birdlebough High School

Silver Key, Fine Arts Portfolio: Alysha Briggs.

Silver Key, Photography Portfolio: Chelsea Heilig, Devin Lough.

Silver Key: Julia Brennan, Drawing; Jayde Homer, Drawing.

Honorable Mention: Alysha Briggs, Sarah Kelly, Leighanna  Matzke, Jennifer VanWormer.

EJ Dillon Middle School

Honorable Mention: Brandon  Denniston, Mattie Thrall.


High School

Gold Key: Makenzi Spink, Photography.

Silver Key: Katrina Anderson, Photography.

Honorable Mention: Alexandra  Brennan, John Egenhofer, Emily Fellers, Karlie Hilton, Courtney Nagy, Makenzi Spink.

Middle School

Silver Key: Jennifer Shampine, Painting.


Red Creek

High School

Gold Key: Jinju Lee, Digital Art.

Silver Key: Jinju Lee, Painting (three pieces).

Honorable Mention: Alexandra Gonzalez, Jinju Lee.

Middle School

Gold Key: Kaitlin Alexander, Ceramics & Glass; Sarah Martin, Drawing (two pieces); Evan Weeks and Lacee Wiestner, Film & Animation.

This annual program, the largest in Central New York, is coordinated by area art teachers who are volunteers of the CNY Scholastic Art Advisory Council.  Onondaga Community College, as part of their Arts Across Campus initiative, is the host site for the thirteenth consecutive year.  Other generous support provided by Syracuse Ceramic Guild, Light Work, Onondaga Community College Foundation, Delavan Center, John D. Barrow Art Gallery, Rudy Hellman Photography, Tracy L. Haylor, Commercial Art Supply and Time Warner Cable.

In addition to student awards, there were district and teacher recognitions, during the 2012 awards ceremony. Homer received the School District Recognition Award for support of the Scholastic Art Program, through time-off for teachers, use of school vehicle to transport entry of artworks and ongoing commitment of the arts in their school district. The Onondaga Community College Teacher Inspiration Award was given to John Smolenski, art teacher from the Skaneateles Central School District, for his “fun, informative and caring teaching style.”

Many of the winning pieces will be submitted for this spring’s national competition.  Last year, the 13-county CNY Region produced six national award winners. The Scholastic Art Awards program, founded by Scholastic, Inc. in 1923, is the largest annual student art competition in America. For more information,

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