Student Artists and Writers Celebrated for Excellence

Recognized for being the cream of the creative crop in the New York region, 13 Masters students recently took home prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Eight student artists captured a collective 29 awards for their outstanding work in the Northeast Art Region-at-Large, while five exceptional writers were honored with eight top prizes in the 2021 Hudson-to-Housatonic Writing Region. Categories were judged by leaders in their respective fields and based on originality, technical skill and the emergence of personal voice. Gold Key recipients are automatically considered for national awards in June. 


August Liu ’23 
Gold Key (Photography: “Smile,” “Water Woman,” “Barbershop”); Silver Key (Photography: “Innocent,” “Sisterhood”); Honorable Mention (Photography: “In the Classroom”)

Sunny Shi ’22 
Gold Key (Photography: “Awaken,” “Study in Late Night,” “Looking Out”); Silver Key (Photography: “Abode,” “When I Grow Up,” “Mom! I’m Taller Now”); Honorable Mention (Photography: “Encounter”)

Phoebe Radke ’22 
Gold Key (Digital Art: “Change”) 

Luqi Zhu ’22 
Gold Key (Photography: “Youthful Vibrance”); Silver Key (Photography: “Derivative”); Honorable Mention (Photography: “Popcorn,” “Foamy Biker,” “Contour”)

Ella Tang ’21 
Gold Key (Mixed Media: “Sweet Potato,” Painting: “The God of Frolic,” Drawing & Illustration: “Silent Voice”); Silver Key (Painting: “Soak in Soda”); Honorable Mention (Mixed Media: “The Sirens’ Body Shop”)

Chris Shim ’22 
Gold Key (Painting: “The Boy on the Other Side”); Silver Key (Drawing & Illustration: “Hoax of Drowning Fish”)

Ellie Yang ’23 
Gold Key (Painting: “Girls’ Day Out”)

Yuhang Hu ’21 
Honorable Mention (Art Portfolios: Fashion and World of Art)

According to upper school photography teacher Rachel Langosch, winner August Liu ’23 “boldly approached subjects on the streets and documented beautiful moments while always paying careful attention to his light.” 

“As one of the teachers who has the privilege of working with some of these student winners, I can say that these are young artists to follow, the ones to keep an eye on,” said Cheryl Hajjar, chair of the Department of Visual Arts. “These are the students who are serious in their craft and strong in their creative voices.”  

Winning painter Ellie Yang ’23 chalks up her success to creative growth. “I have been doing art since middle school but just recently started to use my art as a way to convey a message, so I am very happy and thankful that others were able to see the story that I wanted to tell.” 


Kira Ratan ’22
Gold Key: Journalism (“For Mondaire Jones, politics is personal”)

Lance Leys ’22
Silver Key: Poetry (“In the summer of ‘54, he spat on the ground”)

Kate Stein ‘22
Honorable Mention: Writopia Lab: Science Fiction & Fantasy (“The Purple Edge”)

Chloe Basch ’24
Honorable Mention: Poetry (“Still the Sun Cries;” “Graduation Poem;” “Severing a Feather;” “The Ashes of Liberty”)

Timothy Edwards ’25
Honorable Mention: Short Story (“The Explosion”)

Winning scribe Lance Leys ’22 likened poetry writing to puzzle construction. “I start out with a line that sounds nice, but has no inherent meaning. Then, I find some interpretation of the line that I believe would be interesting to tackle, an emotion or idea that I can confront through it. From that discovery, comes the rest of the poem,” they said.

“The teachers in the English Department are so thrilled that our students not only strive for excellence and originality in our classes, but that they understand the value of presenting their work to an outside, more authentic audience,” explained Miriam Emery, upper school English teacher.

Colleague Lisa Green was very proud of one of her student’s four wins. “Chloe writes with passion and conviction, and she is a true lover of language,” noted Green. “All of that shines through in her poetry — and in all of her writing — which is why I think she is so deserving of being honored and recognized in this way.”

Congratulations to all of our talented Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention winners!

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