Redmond Proficiency Academy students win Scholastic Art & Writing Awards honors

Junior MeiChi Neilson’s artwork titled “Roses.”

Seven Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) students recently won 14 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for 2021. The awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teens, each year recognizing writing, painting, ceramics and glass, photography and a variety of additional artistic mediums.

“I’m very proud of this year’s award winners,” said Ethan Steltzer, visual arts teacher at RPA. “My students have obviously had a difficult school year of distance learning, so it is refreshing to see them producing fantastic artwork and maintaining some normalcy during an anything but normal year.”

RPA students have participated in the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the past 12 years, each year winning awards in a number of categories.

This year’s winners include:

  • Junior Evelyne Anderson, two Honorable Mentions for her photography;

  • Senior Elena Hazzard, Silver Key award for her art portfolio;

  • Junior MeiChi Neilson, two Silver Key awards and an Honorable Mention in the Drawing & Illustration category;

  • Junior Matia Niemi, Honorable Mention for her painting titled “Fire in Her Heart”;

  • Senior Rocio Ruiz, Honorable Mention for her photography;

  • Sophomore Jaxin Sellers, Honorable Mention in the Digital Art category;

  • Senior Erin Wanamaker, five Honorable Mentions for her paintings.

“This is my second year participating in and receiving Honorable Mentions for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards,” said junior Evelyne Anderson. “I’m so grateful for the experience because of the scholarship opportunities, accessibility and support it gives to art students. It makes me feel like my art is worth noticing, and my goals are worth investing in.”

In previous years, award ceremonies and gallery displays were hosted at the Pinckney Center for the Performing Arts at Central Oregon Community College. For this year, Steltzer said the plan is to have senior portfolios on display at Crow’s Feet Commons in Bend beginning in April.

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