Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Managing The Scholastic Art Awards in Massachusetts....And Wearing Silly Hats

Every year, individuals who help coordinate The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in Massachusetts are charged with a unique mission: find the strangest or most outrageous student submission. With almost 60 years of history, these coordinators have seen their share of interesting work!

“Each year we are blessed with all types of unique art works. Some pieces have comedic value. Other work is dramatic and thought provoking,” says Massachusetts Art Region Coordinator Tim O’Connor. "We remember a very unusual portfolio which won a $50,000 Binney & Smith and Scholastic scholarship. It was a series of paintings and sculptures with headless men in black suits - some with bowler hats.” This year, a Medford student created and submitted a sculptural dress using photocopied dollar bills - inspired by the outrageous fashion of pop star Lady Gaga.

The Massachusetts Art Region celebrated its 60th Anniversary this year and has a long history of sponsorship by The Boston Globe. In the early 1990s, teacher Dr. John Michael Gray adopted the program under the auspices of the New England Art Education Conference, Inc. and joined forces with his partner, Tim O’Connor, to co-manage the program. Sixty years later, the region is thriving more than ever with the highest number of submissions in its history this year (10,000 works of art!).

The region has also had a profound impact on art programs in Massachusetts. In secondary schools around the state, quality art work is often referred to as "Globe show work." “In other words, there is a basic correlation between what is thought to be excellent art work and its connection to the Scholastic Art Awards program,” explains O’Connor. “Art programs that have been successful in The Scholastic Awards program continue to receive funding and support.” In addition, thousands of visitors view the annual regional exhibition, and students and teachers are celebrated at a ceremony.

Their favorite part of running the program? “Knowing that we are making a difference in keeping art education alive and well in Massachusetts,” says O’Connor.

During the 2010 National Events, Gray and O’Connor will accept the Excellence in the Field Award, given annually to an outstanding Affiliate for their service to The Awards.

Photo, above: Massachusetts Regional Affiliate Coordinators Dr. John Michael Gray and Tim O'Connor model floral hats.


Post a Comment


© Copyright by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers  |  Template by Blogspot tutorial