JAHS 2022 Scholastic Visual Art Winners


Marcelina Kukawska, Photographer/Reporter

Just five short weeks after the submission deadline, the regional results of the 2022 Scholastic Art competition have surfaced and revealed that John Adams High School holds some of the most creative minds in the area.

Scholastic Art and Writing is the nation’s most prestigious recognition program for teenagers who have a passion for creating. The visual art portion of this initiative receives entries from over 80,000 students across the country every year. Works that blur boundaries, have an authentic personal vision, and manifest advanced technical skills and an original perspective are selected by the region’s jurors. This year, John Adams is proudly represented by twenty-five different students, among which received fifty awards for spectacular, unique pieces of art.

Ms. Dawn Worsham, head of the art department at John Adams High School, believes that John Adams is finally being recognized for its talented students. Despite the pandemic and the fact that the school does not offer certain art classes – such as painting and fashion design – a wide range of students submitted their work to the Scholastic recognition program this year. Ms. Worsham says that many students created artwork outside of school when they were stuck at home, and she is impressed to see their efforts paying off.

There are three awards that students may receive at the regional level: honorable mention, silver key, and gold key. Students who receive gold keys – the highest regional level of achievement – advance to the national level, where they have the opportunity to receive scholarships, cash awards, or tuition assistance. 

John Adams senior Lily Vice received ten Scholastic awards this year. Vice is enrolled in photography class and the graphic design CTE. Her Scholastic entries consist of graphic design work and photographs taken on her DSLR camera. Many of her graphic design pieces feature nudity; Vice explains that true human form is a fun form of expression. Vice also finds joy in transforming pop art and photographing rhythmic architecture. 

Two of the pieces that Vice submitted to Scholastic allude to the stereotypes that black individuals face, and how their backgrounds are perceived from the moment they are born. These artworks, including Backlash, which received a gold key, highlight the “struggles that [black people] have been pushed into, while still remaining confident,” Vice explains.

Kinsey Temple, a junior at John Adams, received a gold key in the printmaking category for her piece, Cleveland. Temple was surprised upon hearing about the award, but is excited to see her piece exhibited at the South Bend Museum of Art. Temple plans on submitting more pieces to Scholastic next year, when she is a senior. However, for now, she is happy to see someone appreciate her work.

Receiving a Scholastic award means a lot to Sofia Frazee because it makes her feel acknowledged by her community. Frazee, a junior and IB Art student, received two honorable mentions, one silver key, and one gold key in various categories.

For many students, including Frazee, this year differed from previous years-in terms of creating and submissions due to the pandemic. “I did not have much motivation during COVID. It impacted the quality of my work,” she says. The unusual circumstances of the pandemic that many young artists have come to coincide with have hindered their creative process. Students have had to persevere and adapt to creating art amid COVID fluctuations.

Frazee recommends that anyone who would like to submit to the Scholastic recognition program next year should not hesitate. “If you have a chance, you should obviously go for it,” Frazee says. The pieces that the judges select differ from year to year, and students who give Scholastic a chance might be pleasantly surprised to find themselves rewarded for their work.

In spite of the program being a somewhat subjective competition, Ms. Dawn Worsham speaks about the multitude of benefits of submitting to Scholastic. “The idea of actually seeing your work displayed in a gallery is a big benefit,” Ms. Worsham says, “[Submitting to Scholastic] also helps students prepare portfolio-quality work if they choose to go on into the art field.”

Many other John Adams students earned awards in the Scholastic Art program this year for their hard work and creative ideas. John Adams is represented by a total of twenty-two honorable mentions, sixteen silver keys, and twelve gold keys. The list of John Adams students who received awards can be viewed here.

The award-winning art works will be displayed at the South Bend Museum of Art throughout the month of February and early March. The museum will be hosting an open house on February 5th, where students, parents, and teachers will be able to gather and appreciate the artwork. 

Next year’s Scholastic submissions will be opening as early as September 1st this year. Students are encouraged to keep this date in mind and submit their own artwork into the recognition program.