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Silas Chu, a student at Asheville Christian Academy in Swannanoa, recently won a 2018 National Scholastic Art Award, one of three student awards that the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced last week.

Chu, an 11th grader, won a Gold Medal for his drawing “The Coffee Shop at the Center of the Universe with special guest Salmon Jim.” His art teacher at Asheville Christian Academy is Jennifer Lipsey Edwards.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers’ National Scholastic Art & Writing awards program is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. This year a record-breaking 350,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication from regional affiliates. All student submissions were judged for originality, technical skill and emergence of a personal vision or voice.

The other WNC winners were Carolina Day School 10th  grader Genevieve Beatty (Gold Medal & American Visions Medal) for her fashion creation “Six Yards of White Silk Transformed into a Hand Painted Dragon Couture Gown” and Smoky Mountain High School 12th grader Mckayla Singleton (Silver Medal) for the animated short “Tourist Trap.”

Student works are first adjudicated regionally through the more than 100 local Affiliates of the Alliance. The Asheville Art Museum, with support from the Asheville Area Section of the American Institute of Architects, is the regional art affiliate of the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This ongoing community partnership has supported the creative talents of WNC youth for 38 years.

The WNC regional competition is open to students in grades 7-12 across 20 counties. The museum first recognized its 256 WNC regional award recipients in January and February with an exhibition and awards ceremony. The 37 works that received Regional Gold Keys were then sent to the National Scholastic Art competition. Regional Gold Key works are then judged nationally by a panel of creative-industry experts to receive Gold, Silver, American Visions & Voices, Portfolio Silver with Distinction or Portfolio Gold Medals.

Chu and Beatty will be invited to the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in June. The Gold Portfolio, Gold Medal, and Silver Medal with Distinction students across the nation will be honored there with appearances by notable celebrities and creative leaders.

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