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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Charlotte teen wins prestigious award and $10k scholarship
Brandon Brooks finishes top place in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
 
Published Monday, March 31, 2014
by Michaela L. Duckett

COURTESY PHOTO
Brandon Brooks was selected as one in 16 out of over 255,000 submissions to win the Portfolio Gold Medal and a $10,000 scholarship in the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. He will be honored this summer at a ceremony in New York City.

Brandon Brooks of Charlotte is set to follow in the footsteps of famous artists like Andy Warhol, Tom Otterness and Zac Posen.

Brooks, 18, a senior at Northwest School of the Arts, was named a national Portfolio Gold medalist in the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards – the nation’s longest running and most prestigious recognition and scholarship program for creative teens.

This award season was a record breaker for the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the nonprofit that administers the Scholastic Awards. The agency received over 255,000 submissions from students in grades 7-12 across the nation. Brooks was one of 16 students to receive the Portfolio Gold Medal, the competition’s highest honor.

“I didn’t think I even had a chance of winning because of the amount of people that entered,” Brooks said. “I was really proud of myself and really surprised that I actually won. It’s reassuring that I’m choosing the right path.”

The Portfolio Gold Medal, which includes a $10,000 scholarship, is awarded to seniors who display originality, impressive technical skills and unique voice. Brooks will be recognized onstage along with the 15 other gold medalists at an award ceremony at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in June. In addition, his artwork will be featured as part of a special two-week exhibit at Parsons The New School for Design and The Pratt Manhattan Gallery, also in New York.

“The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards serve as clear validation of young artists’ and writers’ creative talent, persistence and promise in their respective fields,” said Virginia McEnerney, executive director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “It is our honor to share in these defining moments of achievement for our nation’s teens and to elevate their unbelievable talent on the local, regional and national levels. We see it as a privilege to support them on their journey to becoming artists, writers, designers, doctors, business owners or any aspiration they are determined to realize.”

Brooks, who aspires to become an architect, said he is currently deciding between two schools, Savannah College of Art & Design and Maryland Institute College of Art. His plan is to major in architectural design with a minor in sculpture.

Since its founding 91 years ago, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have fostered the creativity and talents of millions of students and identified the early promise of some of America’s most exceptional visionaries. Alumni include Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath and John Updike, who all won when they were teens. More recently, Stephen King, Myla Goldberg, Zac Posen and Lena Dunham have become celebrated alumni of the program.

Visit www.artandwriting.org for more information about the Alliance. Additional details about the Awards can be found in the Scholastic Media Room.

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