Berkeley Students Garner Top Honors in National Art Awards

Since 1984, Berkeley Preparatory School has garnered numerous awards and accolades as a part of the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards hosted, annually by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This year was no different for the talented group of fine arts students from the school’s Middle and Upper Divisions. In all, 79 Berkeley students were recognized in one of four award categories ranging from “Honorable Mention” to “American Visions Nominee” in the visual arts competition.

The competition is widely regarded as the most distinguished of its kind in identifying the country’s top artistic and literary talents. “The awards are highly competitive with hundreds of thousands of entries; earning an Honorable Mention is quite an accomplishment in itself,” said Anna Arcuri, Middle Division Fine Arts instructor. “Over the past 19 years, Berkeley has had national winners 16 times, which speaks to the level of talent our students possess in the visual arts program here.”
Berkeley earned the most honors of the 28 Tamps Bay area schools that participated in the visual arts category. The Middle Division earned at total of 29 awards, including two Gold Key and six Silver Key winners; and the Upper Division earned a total of 50 awards, including eight Gold Key, 13 Silver Key and 2 American Visions Nominee winners. Gold Key awards are considered the very best works submitted to local programs and are automatically considered for national-level recognition. Five works, from across all categories and grades, are selected from those earning Gold Keys as the “Best of Show” for each local program and recognized as American Visions Nominees.
Each year, an increasing numbers of students from grades 7-12 participate in the program, and become a part of an impressive community of young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, along with countless educators who support and encourage the creative process. In 2014, students across the country submitted 255,000 original works.
Since its founding, the Awards have established an amazing track record for identifying the early promise of our nation’s most accomplished and prolific creative leaders. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers lists among its distinguished alumni artists Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Cy Twombly, Robert Indiana, Kay WalkingStick, and John Baldessari; writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Bernard Malamud, Maya Goldberg, and Joyce Carol Oates; photographer Richard Avedon (who won for poetry); actors Frances Farmer, Robert Redford, Alan Arkin, and John Lithgow; and filmmakers Stan Brakhage, Ken Burns, and Richard Linklater.
An awards ceremony, recognizing all Hillsborough County Regional 2015 Scholastic Award winners will be held on Thursday, February 12 in the theatre at Blake High School. The ceremony begins at 7:00 p.m. and a regional exhibition of the student’s work will be on display from 5:45 – 8:00 p.m.


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