The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers has selected eight King School students for Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition for creative teens and boast a long list of notable alumni, including Cy Twombly, Lena Dunham, Stephen King, and Amanda Gorman.
Two visual artists were recognized for their work. Maddy Beck ’23, an avid advocate for women’s rights, won a Gold Key for her sculpture “FeminiTEA,” a representation of women breaking domestic stereotypes, and a Silver Key for “HERoic,” a portfolio that explores the arc of women's challenges and progress throughout history and today.
Ellie Wayland ’23 earned a Silver Key for her digital artwork “Cityscape.” The piece is part of a science fiction story she is developing using an iPad, and the software program Procreate.
King’s art program stresses the importance of creative thinking and artistic expression. Students are encouraged to use critical thinking and explore unique ways of executing their work. Their learning journey is supported by exposure to the history of art and work from artists around the globe. Reflection and class critiques further strengthen artistic growth.
“My art teachers at King have really been the ones to help foster my passion for art,” Maddy said. “They have pushed me to think outside the box, encouraged me, and helped me take my art to a more sophisticated level.”
Five students collected awards in the argumentative writing category. Junior Brian Karle ’24 earned a Silver Key for his piece “Turning Pages,” and seniors Eli Lowe ’23 and Chloe Zange ’23 earned Silver Keys. Eli’s piece "Queer Coding: An Incomplete Picture" analyzes the topic of queer coding in media. Chloe’s “Vibrant, Complex, and Queer” presents a case for queer characters reduced to stereotypes and villains in media. Juniors Antonia Kolb ’24 and Catie Harvey ’24 also earned awards in the argumentative writing category, each taking home an honorable mention.
Sophomore Madeleine Prather ’25 earned a poetry award for "Pink Paint," a free verse poem about realizing that you have grown up and that your life has changed along with you.
The school’s English department offers a wide-ranging, culturally diverse selection of literature that encourages students to explore the human condition. To prepare students to navigate this increasingly complex world, classes engage in conversations that address topics including race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.
With guidance and encouragement, students develop cultural awareness critical to their understanding of themselves and the wider world. They also find their voice and gain confidence.
“I applied to this competition because I wanted to put myself out there and share writing that I was proud of with others,” said Eli. “I found the things that I researched to be incredibly interesting, and I am happy that others saw it that way too. It is really special to me that they appreciated this essay about a topic that means a lot to me.”
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is a nonprofit organization committed to identifying students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and raising the visibility of their work through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The awards give students opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Jurors review entries without knowledge of the student’s gender, age, ethnicity, or hometown, looking instead for originality, skill, and the emergence of a personal vision.