In an attempt to foster the skills of young writers and artists, the Alliance for Young Writers and Artists recognizes excellence each year in creations by high school students on a local, regional and national level in the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Students in visual arts classes submitted work this year in several of the contest’s 28 categories. Their art was then entered in a selection process, which involves teacher and judge evaluation.

Art teacher Nicole Walter said art entered in the contest is judged on three artistic categories.

“Our priority in art classes at Marshall is always on creating work that is personally meaningful, while also developing the technical and visual skills to best communicate those ideas,” Walter said.

“That being said, the portfolios that generally win awards in Scholastics don’t naturally fit with the kind of portfolio that a typical IB Visual Arts student is working on.”

Junior Brady Thomas, IB Art 1 student, submitted work for the video game category, which was sent directly to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, as video games are only judged on a national scale.

The competition “helps the artist grow and, in a way, it prepares them for [submitting work for] college applications,” Thomas said.

Thomas’s videogame concept is the first to be submitted by a Marshall student in its category.

“It’s a learning experience for everyone,” he said.

For the competition, Thomas wrote a concept document that outlined the game’s story, its characters and its gameplay experience as well as submitted concept art that gives a general outline of the characters and landscape.

However, not every IB Art student decided to submit work to his or her teacher for the competition.

“I just didn’t … think that any of my pieces would make it,” junior Angelica Singh said.

Singh, who is enrolled in IB Art 1, noted that the selective nature of the process was a deterrent.

Singh said that teachers had to be very particular when choosing work to submit. Each instructor can only submit 12 pieces to the regional level.

Historically, Marshall students have been very successful in the contest: in 2011 there were 11 winning entries.