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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

LHS arts program achieves big wins in regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Seventeen students will be advancing to nationals, with their work displayed in a New York gallery
Maya Smith
Scholastic award winners Emmie Hurd and Neva Livingston displaying their art at the S&S Artisan Coffee House art show, during the Meet the Artists event.

The LHS visual arts program was massively recognized on the regional and national level, bringing home a multitude of awards and opening up exciting opportunities for artists.  

From the Scholastic Art and Writing competition, four out of the five Gold Key Portfolios, an award given to only the top 1% of works submitted, were given to LHS students, and three out of ten Silver Portfolios, the top 5% of work submitted, were also given to LHS students.

For art teacher Todd Poteet, the many awards won by the artists were remarkable. 

“Having competed in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for well over 20 years, I was stunned to see how many students from LHS won awards. This kind of achievement by one public school is unheard of.”

After waiting for months, the art students were excited to find out who won Scholastic awards. Senior Isabel Klish, a silver key winner for her portfolio and individual painting, remembers waiting in anticipation for the results.  

“The Scholastic results were taking longer than usual to get back to us, so we were pretty anxious to get them back and see how everybody did,” Klish said. “It was really exciting because everybody found out around the same time and we were really happy for each other. It was so fun.”

Junior photography student Henry Farthing, who joined the advanced arts program last year, received tremendous recognition for their pieces. 

“I’ve been doing art my whole life, but I only really got into advanced art classes last year,” Farthing said. “I’m pretty new to drawing and painting, so I’ve been lucky to have such incredible teachers that have helped me and pushed me really far in such a short amount of time.” 

In November, Farthing was named a national young arts winner, a prestigious title awarded by YoungArts, a program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The award is given to only 70 winners from around the country in five or six different disciplines.

YoungArts has opened up many opportunities for Farthing, including a trip to Los Angeles to receive their award. 

“Once you get an award at YoungArts, they support you for the rest of your career and they open up many unique opportunities like the trip to LA I went on, and an upcoming trip to New York,” Farthing said. “When I was in LA I met a bunch of people that have opened up new opportunities for me. It’s just been so cool to meet people who know so much about different things.”

Although many students such as Farthing were fortunate to receive scholarships for their art, the LHS art program as a whole has suffered in recent years from supply shortages and advanced courses being cut. 

“Funding has always been a real struggle for our program,” Farthing said. “We don’t always have enough supplies and we weren’t able to have an advanced hour last semester, so we had to work into our lunch breaks to apply for contests.”

Senior Allie White, a photography student and gold key portfolio winner, feels the influx of awards creates more respect and credibility for the arts programs. 

“I feel like the fine arts programs are looked down upon a lot, but I don’t think our school realizes how much we can and do win as a program. Getting to prove that we have actual talent and prove to administrators that we are worthy of having a class even instead of just independent study is just so valid,” White said.

Beyond the high school level, Poteet, who has helped countless students apply for college art scholarships, has witnessed first hand the effects these awards have on applications. 

“Students will be able to garnish larger scholarship awards from their schools, and some may even be able to achieve a full scholarship to a school,” Poteet said. “Awards at this level can be life changing.”

Both White and Farthing were awarded for their photography and were happy to see photography as a medium receiving more recognition. 

“I was really honored because I didn’t think I had a chance, and also going against all the painting portfolios that were submitted, it was really cool to get that recognition when painting is often chosen over photography,” White said. 

For Farthing, a special part of the photography program is the student community.

“The community of students we have, specifically in photography, are so close; Everyone is motivated and kind and supporting,” Farthing said. “To have that kind of student community here is super awesome.”

Klish was happy to see successes in the program her senior year and has high hopes for its future. 

“The influx of awards shows how dedicated and talented everyone is, and how much support and hard work is evident in the art program,” Klish said. “I think it will really help LHS continue to shine in the arts, and it just continues to prove that we are important, we are proud, and good at what we do.”

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About the Contributors
Juliet Outka
Juliet Outka, Reporter
I am first year staffer, and am beyond excited to be a part of this community! In addition to journalism, I am part of the cross country team, theater, and the choir program. I am eager to tell the stories at LHS that aren't given enough coverage and celebrate our school culture.
Maya Smith
Maya Smith, Red and Black Co-Editor in Chief

I am a second year editor-in-chief of the Red and Black Yearbook and have been on staff for three years. I am considered a jack of all trades - I take photos, write, design, and do lots and lots of live reporting. When I’m not working on journalism, I’m a part of IPS, Student Council, Unified Sports, Link Crew, and Hang12.

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