The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are a nonprofit organization that recognizes high school aged students every year for artistic ventures in drawing, painting, writing, and media. The program is quite popular, receiving nearly 260,000 entries nationally. This year, J-DHS Sophomore, Evangeline Rodriguez was recognized for her painting, “Our Friend Alz.”
According to J-DHS art teacher Mr. Brodsky, the last time someone from J-DHS won a Scholastic Gold Key was 3 years ago, (Nate Bourcy for his Jellyfish piece). The National Gold key is the highest award given by Scholastic Awards and only 5% of regional work receives this prestigious recognition.
“I was hopeful that Eva would be recognized for her incredible work. But I thought that because it is stylistically so unique, that it might be overlooked. I am really happy that the judges recognized the thoughtfulness, skill, and determination that peice took to create!” Mr. Brodsky says, who assisted Rodriguez in submitting her piece this past fall.
“Our Friend Alz” was painted the second semester of last year. Rodriguez claims drawing animals and being a big fan of comic books helped guide the piece, but that her biggest influence was her grandma who has Alzheimer’s Dementia. Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects memory, thinking, and behavior.
“Me and my family have been taking care of her since the start of Covid. It’s definitely rough watching such a confusion, sad, and frustrating disease take over a loved one. I wanted to reflect how Alzheimer’s affects people… The old lady in the painting is actually my grandma,” says Rodriguez.