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Sophomore Christina Perry recognized in national Scholastic Art and Writing Awards contest

PHOTO COURTESY OF HEIDI KEITH - Christina Perry, a sophomore at Scappoose High School, stands beside a portrait of her grandfather that she sketched. Perry completed the work as a class assignment in the fall, but earned a national recognition award for it in March. A sophomore at Scappoose High School was awarded a gold medal in the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for a pencil-drawn sketch of her late grandfather.

Christina Perry was one of 2,400 students to earn national recognition for her artistic work. More than 320,000 students from across the country submitted pieces to the contest in 29 different categories, marking a record number of submissions, a press release from Scholastic stated.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is an annual contest sponsored by Scholastic Inc., Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, The National Endowment for the Arts, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, and others. Its purpose is to recognize the creative achievements of students in grades seven through 12.

The awards program was founded in 1923.

Students who placed in the top 16 were awarded $10,000 scholarships along with the honor.

Heidi Keith, an art teacher at Scappoose High School, encouraged Perry to consider submitting her work to the contest. Perry created a graphite-on-paper portrait of her grandfather in the fall 2015 semester, using a grid method of transposing an old family photo. Perry’s grandfather died in 2013 and she wanted to honor his memory in a personal way, she said

“He was good at art and loved working with his hands in different ways, like gardening and woodworking. Ever since I was little I looked up to him and admired him,” Perry stated in a press release from the high school. “He was my inspiration for my art. I wanted to create my own memorial for him in a way that he would appreciate.”

Keith said she could see how much heart Perry put into her work, and wanted her to be recognized for her talents.

“Christina has always been a really gifted artist. She has incredible hand-eye coordination,” Keith said. “This she really pushed to the next level, and it’s a really excellent piece.”

As a medal recipient, Perry and her family were invited to attend the national awards ceremony being hosted at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June. Perry has started a fundraising page on the site Go Fund Me to help pay for the trip, which can be found here.

Angelina McLain, a junior, and Kat Pedigo, a senior, were also recognized at the regional level of the contest and awarded honorable mentions for their submitted work.

Keith said she was proud to see students from Scappoose High School given recognition for their artistic endeavors.

“It’s wonderful. I think that visual art students should be given an opportunity to show their art in a culminating event and be recognized for their achievements,” Keith said.

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