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Eastern Central PA Students Announced as 2021 Scholastic Art Award Recipients

by Kutztown University

Eastern Central PA Students Announced as 2021 Scholastic Art Award Recipients

143 Young Artists Recognized by the Eastern Central PA Scholastic jury for their Original Works

The Eastern Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Affiliate has announced the regional award recipients of the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Presented by the nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, the 98th Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are the country’s longest running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7-12.

This program year, nearly 185,000 works of art and writing were submitted to more than 100 regional affiliate partners across the country. Creative teens from 18 different schools from Berks, Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties received regional honors, including Gold Keys, Silver Keys and honorable mentions from the local affiliate. Five students are awarded with the American Visions Award nomination, which represent the best of the exhibition.

Most of the students in this competition are taught by alumni of KU’s Department of Art Education. Their student’s success exemplifies the strength of Kutztown University’s program as well as showcasing the many school districts in our area that have stellar 7-12 grade art programs.

Lindsay Ott from Emmaus High School received two Gold Keys, a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention for her paintings under teacher Tracy Maley. She also received an American Visions Award nomination for her painting “Strong Like Bull.” Ott joins 42 other awardees from Emmaus, a huge accomplishment for teachers Maley, Lisa Caruso and Alexis Soboleski. Junior year student, Mercedes Wagaman of Emmaus, was also awarded an American Visions Award nomination for her ceramic piece “Diamonds.”

Karleigh Patton from Exeter Township Senior High School took home six awards for her mixed media, photography and illustrations. 11 awards were given out to Exeter students studying under teacher Christine Pinkerton.

Sammy Wendland from Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts took home a Gold Key, four honorable mentions and two Silver Keys under the categories of Drawing and Illustration and Sculpture under teacher Michael Fickes. 16 awards were given out to the students at the Charter Arts High School.

Sudenaz Mohac from Nazareth Area High School won four awards, including two Gold Keys and two honorable mentions for photography. 10 awards were given out to the students at Nazareth Area High School. Nicole Stager is the art teacher at Nazareth Area High School.

Isabella Sunday from Allentown Central Catholic High School brought home six awards, including an impressive two American Visions nominations as well as three gold keys, a Silver Key and three honorable mentions. Sunday studies under teacher Maura Ohl.

An awards ceremony normally takes place at Kutztown University, but the in person events for this program are canceled due to COVID-19. The exhibition is free and open to the public 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 12-4 p.m., Saturday, and 2-4 p.m., Sunday.

Since the program’s founding in 1923, the Awards have fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students and include a distinguished list of alumni including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, Richard Linklater, Zac Posen and Lena Dunham, all of whom received recognition in the Awards when they were teens.

For Gold Key works of art and writing in the Awards’ 29 categories, including architecture, painting, printmaking, video game design, photography and more, the opportunities for recognition will continue when the works are juried again on a national level by a panel of leading creative professionals.

A complete list of regional Gold Key Scholastic Art and Writing Awards recipients is available online at