• Julie Ahmad

2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards - I was on the Judging Panel!

I was presented with the wonderful opportunity by competition organizer, Elizabeth Zepeda, to be a judge in this

year's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and WOW!!!


The artworks I evaluated were filled with outstanding talent & promise. What a marvelous group of young artists we have right here in the Austin,TX Region. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards presents an extraordinary moment for teens (ages 13-18) to display their art to a panel of established visual & literary artists. In this, the panel of judges selected artworks that were beyond impressive and compelling. Serving as a juror, I selected artworks that 'exemplified the Awards’ core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.' I judged on 2 panels and was surrounded by brilliant creatives who also held a passion for mentoring the next generation of artists.


The 2022 Scholastic Art Adjudication was to take place in person, but last minute was switched to zoom, due to extenuating circumstances. On January 8th, I was a part of a group of roughly 25 judges total and we reviewed nearly 1500 student works in one day!! With contestants from both middle and high school, they provided quite a difficult task to choose as so many were profoundly moving.


I judged 4 categories: painting, jewelry, printmaking, and fashion. Out of all of the evaluations throughout the day, each panel chose recipients for the 'Honorable Mention', 'Silver key' and 'Gold key' awards. Below are a few of my favorites that I was able to award.



Out of all of the gold key awards won in each category , we then had to choose 5 'Visionary' award nominees to send off to compete at the national level in New York City as the "Best of Show" amongst all of the regions competing.


Not only do they receive the recognition their artwork deserves, but the young artists who are granted either gold or visionary awards are eligible for scholarships as well!!


Below are our 5 American Vision Nominee's from the Austin Region.



This is such an impactful program for kids to share their work and to reach the large realm of artists in this city and beyond. I cannot wait to see what more these kids have in store provided as a community we continue to support it.

Check out this feedback video I sent to the kiddos after below.

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It was really important to me to share with all of the kids that marketing & business knowledge is an absolute NECESSITY as an artist. Without those tools, it will be so much harder. So, to all young artists, make sure to take marketing & business classes!! It will get you farther than you know.


For the full video from regionals click here.




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