Chatting with Scholastic Art Fair Winners: Q&A

Photo taken by Ishany Rojas.

Katie Fisher and Dibo Elango

Last week, a few select individuals were awarded placings in the Scholastic Art Fair. Students received Gold and Silver Keys along with Honorable mentions as recognition for their magnificent work.


The list consists of:


Skylar Mckinney

Lily Munoz

Preston Emiken

Kiera Morrell

Kennedy Bradley



Alex Nishida

Carson Willard

Ishany Rojas



Maya Epstein

Sophia Adams

Ashlee Palacios

Ava Kim


We talked with two of the winners, Kennedy and Ishany, to get their reaction about the news.




Can you describe your piece you entered in the Scholastic Art Fair?

“So the piece that I entered, really has a message to it and that is that a lot of teenagers are trying to become something that they are not. So, I have a picture of me smiling in the front, and then there is a picture of me kinda sad in the back. Not being happy with who I am, in the meantime.”

What was the process of entering your piece into the art fair like?

“It was a bit hard because I had a lot of school work to do and I also helped take care of my little sisters. So, I had to really stay up at night, and sometimes get up really early in the morning to start it and to finish it.”

What was your inspiration for your winning piece?

“During the time, which was last semester, I was just going through a lot of things. A lot of circumstances, like the death of a loved one. It made me get inspired with how I was feeling at the moment, and how I thought a lot of other teenagers who are my friends also feel too.”

Is there anything you want viewers of your art to take away from your piece?

“I want them to know that it is not okay to become someone that you are not, and to just embrace yourself, and not be afraid of what other people think. As long as it makes you happy.”

What would you say to people considering entering the art fair next year?

“I would definitely recommend it. It really takes a lot of hard work, but it all worth it in the end, no matter if you do win or not. It’s fun.”

What would say to any aspiring artists?

“I would like to say to not give up, no matter what it is that anybody says. I know that is kinda hard to take in criticism, but to always just go with the flow and follow what you want to do.”




When did you first get into art?

“I first got into art during middle school. I wanted a way to express myself.”

What was the piece you entered for the Fair?

“The piece that I entered into Scholastics was a photograph of a teenager with the pride flag printed on his face. The flag was dripping down his face and his mouth was taped.”

What was your inspiration?

“My inspiration for the photo was seeing stories in the media and online and people in the LGBTQ+ community for being themselves. I wanted to show a reality that people don’t always see.”

What is your favorite part about the piece?

“My favorite part of my piece was the lighting. The way the shadows casted on his face gave the piece the more ominous and jarring feeling that I wanted to express.”

Would you recommend other people to enter next year?

“Yes, it’s a great way to great your art out there.”

What would you say to any aspiring artist?

“Trust your process and yourself when creating your art. When you look at your art you should do want you want to complete it.”