SHS Student wins Gold Key from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Sophomore Elsie Gendron wins prestigious art award for her art piece, “Childhood Hikes”


On Jan. 22, sophomore Elsie Gendron was awarded the Gold Key from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for the Maine region. 

Originally founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards has been working to inspire and encourage the creativity of the teenage population throughout the United States. The competition is judged solely on the organization’s core values, which include originality, skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. 

There are three different awards that young artists can receive. These varying levels include an honorable mention, a silver key, and a gold key. Gendron received an email stating that her artwork received a gold key. Out of around 800 applicants from the Maine region, only  5-7% of them were awarded the gold key level.  

This award is the highest form of recognition within this competition. On March 11, Gendron will officially be presented her award at the Regional Award ceremony, which is being held at the Maine College of Art. Additionally, there will be a month-long exhibition for her winning art piece as well as all of the other gold and silver key winner’s art pieces, at this college.

Due to her accomplishment of receiving the gold key, her work was then submitted to the national competition for this organization. Gendron will soon be hearing if she received a national award for her art piece, on March 22. 

When asked what inspires her artwork, Gendron shared that a lot inspires her, for example, past experiences she has had. The winning piece, “Childhood Hikes”, was inspired by a place where she would go hiking as a child. 

Gendron’s art piece, “Childhood Hikes”, was awarded the Gold Key.

She was next asked if she has been inspired by any artists and she responded, “My Dad is an artist, so I grew up with his art. So, he kind of inspires me the most. But, I also really like old painters like Norman Rockwell and Van Gough. I think they’re really cool.”

Gendron has taken many art classes at SHS including Art Fundamentals, Drawing, Studio Art 2, and is currently in ceramics, along with a variety of art enrichment courses. Her favorite class was drawing where she created her winning piece, although she has also enjoyed ceramics.

When asked how she got affiliated with the competition, Gendron shared, “I kind of knew about it. I’ve seen it on Tik Tok and I wanted to submit [an entryy] last year, but I didn’t really have anything that I felt like I wanted to, so I just waited until it was open again.”

Gendron has plans to attend art school after high school, but the rest remains open.

“I don’t really know what I want to do from there,” said Gendron. “I was thinking maybe an associate director for shows and movies because I really like that, old animated stuff like Ghibli or a Freelance artist would be really cool too.”

To learn more about this organization and the competition, click here.

One comment

  1. […] SHS sophomore Elsie Gendron will be awarded the prestigious Gold Key from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for the Maine region, for her art piece entitled Childhood Hikes. Of the approximately 800 applicants from the Maine region, only 5-7% of them were awarded the gold key level, which is the highest award. Read more about Elsie in the Spartan Times. […]


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