Students Shine at an Art Exhibit in New York City

Maxwell with William Crow and Virginia McEnerney
Maxwell with William Crow and Virginia McEnerney

Maxwell with William Crow of The Met and Virginia McEnerney of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

On March 24, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and the Metropolitan Museum of Art held the opening of the third annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards exhibit. The event took place at The Met’s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education in New York City.

The show spotlighted New York City-based Gold Key winners in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. More than 600 works of art and writing were on display. They had been chosen from among nearly 11,000 entries in the regional competition, which represents more than 300 schools.



Started in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program is the country’s longest-running and most prestigious national awards program for creative teens.

“The most important thing to know about the program is that any kid from public, private, or homeschool can participate,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization that administers the awards. “We believe in young people, their perspectives, and their opinions.”

What distinguishes the winners? “Originality is the main asset that wins the award,” McEnerney said. “This is about boundary-breaking, rule-breaking, and charting a fresh course.”

William Crow, Senior Museum Educator at The Met, agreed. “Originality and creativity are what we look for in art,” he said. “It is about ideas that you want to put out into the world.”

Maxwell reciting his poetry at The Met

Maxwell reads his own award-winning poetry at The Met. 


Past national winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition include artists whose works now have a permanent home at The Met: Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay WalkingStick, John Baldessari, Luis Jiménez, and Catherine Murphy.

On March 24, Gold Key winners got a taste of what it’s like to have their art displayed at one of the world’s most famous museums. Alfredo Ibarra, 16, from the Bronx, who was proud of his award-winning self-portrait, talked about what art means to him.

“It’s a way to capture something and express myself with my choices,” Alfredo said. “Art is anything done well and with passion.”

The exhibit runs through May 29. “We hope this program will be an inspiration to everyone to keep making their art and their creative writing,” Crow said. “And we hope that some day, [the student winners] will find their art permanently here at the museum.”



Photos courtesy of the author