17 Students Earn Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Friday, February 5, 2021
“No Title” by Andrea Garza Gutierrez ’22

A total of 17 Mercersburg Academy students have been honored in the 2021 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. Work by Roy Kang ’22, Alexa Marsh ’21, Dalila Melkumova ’21, and Lian Wang ’21 earned Gold Key awards and will advance to compete for awards at the national level; other award-winning work by Mercersburg students garnered Silver Key and Honorable Mention awards.

“I’m sure I speak for the entire Mercersburg community when I say how proud we are of the literary accomplishments of these students,” said Michele Poacelli, an English faculty member and the director of the Writing Center. “I was impressed that so many answered the Scholastic call this year, especially since it required the extra step of meeting with me virtually in December to submit. Everyone had polished poems, essays, and short stories ready to go. I couldn’t be more pleased with the generous acknowledgement of their work.”

Gold Key awards were given to Kang for his personal essay and memoir “An Orchid’s Sonata”; to Marsh (two poetry awards) for her poems “Speak” and Stains”; to Melkumova for her personal essay and memoir “Connoisseur’s Memories”; and to Wang for her writing portfolio “Truth” and personal essay and memoir “Looking Out of My Bedroom Window...” 

Silver Key awards were given to Lucy Bowman ’21 for her art portfolio “Our Vulnerability”; to Mel Cort ’23 (three poetry awards) for their poems “Intermeddelers,” Temporary Housing,” and “Sex Ed”; Andrea Garza Gutierrez ’22 for her painting “No Title”; Jay Howley ’21 for his drawing and illustration “Cramped Man IV”; Jamie Hyung ’23 for her poetry entry “Odyssey over the Pandemic Ocean” and personal essay and memoir entry “My Name”; Marsh for her poetry “A Sister”; Melkumova for her personal essay and memoir entry “Alto” and poetry “Moscow Variety Children’s Theatre”; and Wang for her poetry “Time.”

“Cramped Man IV” by Jay Howley ’21

The following students received Honorable Mention awards: Justin An ’23 for his critical essay “The Codes of Hammurabi and Justinian”; Bowman, for her photography: “Holt”; Carina Cole ’22 for her poetry “In My Mirror” and printmaking “Riot Grrrl”; Garza Gutierrez for her painting “No Title”; Howley for his mixed media “Pants Man (Man in Pants, Pants on Man)” and drawing and illustration “Cramped Man II”; Terrance Ji ’22 for his personal essay and memoir “How I Find Meaning in the World”; Virginia Jones ’21 for her painting “Mayo: In the memory of Alex Blandin”; Marsh for her poetry “I Remember”; Morgan McReady ’23 for her poetry “Abyss of a Bedroom”; Peter Rice ’23 for his sculpture “Waves”; Cole Smith ’23 for his short story “Lookout”; Wang for her poetry “orient”; and John Xu ’22 for his critical essay “Hamilton and Jefferson’s Take on …”.

“Our school made an incredible showing in Scholastic again this year even amongst the challenges of the virtual learning environment. The strength of our literary program is clearly marked in the awards this year,” said Kristen Pixler, arts faculty. “The visual arts had another strong showing. Lucy Bowman's Silver Key portfolio was particularly meaningful. Lucy is a gifted artist, photographer, and dancer that has been an integral part of the arts over her four years at Mercersburg Academy. This award for her portfolio is reflective of this prowess and dedication.”

A selection of winning artwork will be on display at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg from March 7 to April 26. Due to space and the large number of winners, only a small portion of the artwork will be on display. An invitation-only awards ceremony will take place March 6 at the State Museum.

Last year, 24 Mercersburg students were recognized in the 2020 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Bowman, Cort, Howley, and Wang (all award winners in 2021) were among the students who were honored last year.