Crossroads News

Student Creativity Knows No Bounds (Even at Home)

Twelve Upper Schoolers and an alumnus are honored for visual art and music.
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers recently named 11 Crossroads students as winners in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in the West Art Region-at-Large. The good news was followed by the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation recognizing alumnus Luca Mendoza ’17 and junior Oliver Mann.
Sophomore Kate Jang; juniors Birdie Blaugrund, Thea Davidson, Khush Grewal, Daisy Kohner and Sammy Neustadt; and seniors Declan Dill, Elena Fis, Kristy Lee, Charlie Nevins and Nina Yankovic collectively earned 33 distinctions—including Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention Awards—at this year’s Region-at-Large Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, judged by jury of acclaimed artists. Works by Gold Key winners Thea, Declan, Elena, Kate and Charlie then moved on to compete in the national competition.
“It was a true honor to win this award for my photograph,” said Thea, who was awarded a Gold Key for her work entitled “Sunset Dancing.” “I took the photo a few years ago when I was traveling with my family to the Middle East. As the sun began to set, my brother Lucian started to dance and I took my camera out because it felt like such a beautiful moment to capture.”
Kate also shared the inspiration for her Silver Key-winning illustration “Way to Me”: “I wanted to express the journey of not only finding, but creating my own identity. ... That’s why I am drawing the path that I am walking on.”
Self-portraiture offered an avenue for self-reflection for Daisy as well. Regarding her Silver Key-winning “A Life-Size Self-Portrait,” she noted, “My self-portrait originally began as an assignment for my Studio Art class but evolved into a bigger project for me. It was a great way for me to look within as I drew each part of myself.”
Click here for a full list of Crossroads winners in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in the West Art Region-at-Large.
Luca Mendoza ’17—who recently gave a master class to current jazz students at Crossroads—is one of 20 recipients of the 2021 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, a distinction given to exceptional jazz composers up to the age of 30. At 17 years old, junior Oliver Mann, who earned an Honorable Mention, is the youngest honoree in this year’s competition. Oliver submitted a piece called “Two Mile Turbulence,” which was judged by three esteemed jazz composers-musicians.
“I enjoy studying and listening to many different genres of music, and I am often inspired to combine different genres in my compositions. I was surprised and honored to have my work recognized,” said Oliver. “I plan on continuing to compose and make music as I continue to search for my unique style.”
Congratulations to all the talented artists and musicians in our community!