Cal U students work on art in studio. Cal U students work on art in studio.

WORK OF YOUNG ARTISTS, WRITERS ON DISPLAY

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The creativity of hundreds of secondary school students is on display in Gallagher Hall through Feb. 12 as part of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The awards recognize outstanding young artists and writers from schools in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties.

This year’s local event drew 376 art submissions and 55 writing entries from 28 schools. This is the third year that Cal U has hosted the event.

“Creativity lights up individual lives, leads to new discoveries and drives progress — in medicine, in physics, in computer science, in space exploration, in nanotechnology, in government — in every human endeavor,” said Janice Hatfield, co-director of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“That is why the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and similar programs that recognize and reward creativity are so important.”

Five Cal U faculty members, from the departments of English and Art and Design, were among the judges for this year’s event. Dr. Scott Lloyd, Gregory Harrison and Richard Miecznikowski evaluated the art submissions. Dr. Kurt Kearcher and Dr. Krystia Nora judged the written pieces.

Harrison, Nora and Dr. William Hendricks serve on the Scholastic board of directors.

Since the program began in 2002, more than 3,000 students have participated in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which is an affiliate of the national Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Locally, almost $20,000 has been awarded for outstanding work.

The awards ceremony at Cal U will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 12 in Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre.

Students who earn Gold Keys at the regional level are automatically entered in the national awards program later this year.

“Scholastic has been encouraging and rewarding writers for a long, long, time,” Nora said. “It’s a great organization for anyone who might have quiet dreams of becoming a writer, who thinks it could never happen.”