Three Roanoke County students who attend William Byrd High School and the Burton Center for Arts and Technology received awards in the February regional Scholastic Art Awards hosted by the Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley. They are Urunna Anyanwu, Nick Boksa, and Andrea Gonzalez. Natalie Strum is their art instructor.
The Scholastic Arts Awards program, sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, is the nation’s longest running and most prestigious recognition program for young adults in the arts. BCAT art students in the Center for Visual Arts (CVA) and Graphics Communication classes collected an impressive 13 Gold Keys, 18 Silver Keys, and 26 Honorable Mentions.
Anyanwu, a senior, won three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and three Honorable Mentions. Her Gold Key works included “Hair Woes,” “Pieces of Me,” and “Cornucopia.” Anyanwu’s Silver Key piece was entitled “Severed Sisters.” Her Honorable Mentions were for “My Nigeria is Dying,” “Hide Behind Flopsy,” and “Seriously.”
Boksa, a senior, won an Honorable Mention for “monochromatic architecture.”
Gonzalez, also a senior, won one Gold Key, two Silver Keys, and three Honorable Mentions. Her Gold Key piece was named “Queen Elizardbeth.” The Silver Key awards were for “Color and Texture” and “Home Inside a Home Inside a Pandemic.” Her Honorable Mentions were for “Ego Timorem Sum,” “Knit Knit Purl,” and “Titipupu Cantando.”
All the Gold Key winners will compete at the national level in March.
Other Roanoke County students recognized include Gold Key winners: Malia Hawthorne, Taylor Kirk, Allison Matthews, Hannah Stacy, Maggie Walsh, Emma Shaver, and Elliot Danz. Silver Key recognitions went to Allison Matthews, Michael Reid, Hannah Stacy, Nathan Tryal, Maggie Walsh, Emma Shaver, Gabrielle Spencer, Katie Grant, Evan Rogers, and Avery Tung. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Taylor Kirk, Julia Langheim, Allison Matthews, Michael Reid, Hannah Stacy, Maggie Walsh, Emma Shaver, Ashley Ditmore, Jayden Milne, Caroline Moore, Noah Moretz, and Regan Pyle.
In presenting the awards for the Southwest Virginia Region, the Fine Arts Center emphasized they were proud once again to be the official affiliate for the Scholastic Art Awards in the region.
“We are all aware of the challenges educators, students and their families have faced this past year just trying to continue some semblance of schooling. Despite these difficulties, students across the region overcame these challenges and again submitted a tremendous body of work across a variety of media. This is a testament to those students, their teachers, and their families who, despite adversity, continued to create and explore their talents. Every child who continues to make art, and every teacher who guides them, and every family member who nurtures young artists, whether that art is shared with us or not, is a winner. Keep making art,” the news release said.
The Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley created an online gallery of the entries at facnrv.org/scholastic-2021 in lieu of an in-person art show during the restrictions of the pandemic.