Governor’s School students receive national honors in 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Christina Vandiver

Out of nearly 230,000 creative writing and visual arts submissions competing in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, works created by five students from the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities rose to the top. Two of these students earned the program’s highest honors with a Gold Medal Portfolio Award and an American Visions Medal. All of these students will be recognized at the 2020 National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in June.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for young artists and writers in grades 7–12. It serves as a launchpad for furthering students’ future success by providing them with access to scholarship programs, workshops and the ability to have their work published and displayed in regional and national exhibitions.

The Governor’s School’s medalists include:

  • Tyler Kellogg (Central, SC) - Gold Medal Portfolio Award—the program’s highest national honor, which includes a $10,000 scholarship—for creative non-fiction portfolio “The Splintering” 
  • Sofia Klimkowski Arango (Greer, SC) - Gold medal and American Visions Medal—the highest honor for the Southeast region—for sculpture “Pocketed” 
  • Loie Sarmiento (Florence, SC) - Gold medal for sculpture “Pockets Filled with Sunshine”
  • Emma Perez (Summerville, SC) - Silver medal for animation “Fever Dream” 
  • Cristina Sanchez (Murrells Inlet, SC) - Silver medal for Senior Writing Portfolio

Check out our Govies Award-Winning Work!

At the national competition level, Kellogg was one of eight writers to receive the Gold Medal Portfolio Award selected from among 2,000 works that received National Medals and among 15,000 works that were awarded regionally with Gold Keys. This exceptional honor includes a $10,000 scholarship.

This is the second year in a row that a visual arts student from the Governor’s School has received an American Visions Medal. Klimkowski Arango’s award represents the best-in-show honor for the entire southeast region, including Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In the fall, students across the nation submitted nearly 230,000 works to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards from affiliates and region-at-large competitions. In the Southeast Region-At-Large competition, Governor’s School students received a total of 107 awards, including 20 Gold Keys and 1 American Visions nomination. All Gold Key works, and the five American Voices and American Vision nominees from each region are then judged in the national competition. The American Voices and Visions Medals represent the highest regional honors and are given to one writer and one visual artist from each region. 

The SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, located in Greenville, is a public, residential high school that provides pre-professional training in creative writing, dance, drama, and music. For the past twenty years, young artists from across the state have been refining their talents in the Governor’s School’s arts-centered community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education.