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Scholastic Art Award Winners 2023

Scholastic Art Award Winners 2023
Scholastic Art Award Winners 2023

One day last spring, Virginia Callen was eating lunch at True Food when a scene caught her eye. Three dogs huddled together on the patio nearby. 

“Fortunately, I brought my camera with me, and I was able to snap a few photos,” the Harpeth Hall senior recalled.

The resulting image was a piece she called “Cerberus,” a nod to the three-headed hound in Greek mythology. This month, that photograph was among the 70 pieces of artwork by Harpeth Hall students that won awards in the 2023 Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Competition.

In total, 40 Harpeth Hall students were recognized — a record number for the school and the most of any school in the area.

Susie Elder, head of the visual art department, credits this achievement to the students’ innovative work.

“Scholastic aims to celebrate the creativity and skill of students, which is also important to us as a department,” Ms. Elder said of the art and writing competition that was founded in 1923 and includes notable past winners such as Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol, and Ken Burns. “We are proud of all of the hard work of our amazing artists!”

Senior Adelaide Cook, who won a Gold Key and an  Honorable Mention, expressed her excitement at  winning her first Scholastic awards as a senior.

“I am most proud of my work ‘Coricancha Temple’  because it was the piece that started my whole  portfolio,” she said of the work, which exquisitely details  the bricks of the temple set against the backdrop of a  bright blue, cloud-filled sky. “This piece was my  introduction to layering printmaking with other mediums,  and it also began my portfolio of work inspired by  architecture.”

"Coricancha Temple" - Adelaide Cook '23


Virginia, who won a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention, has also been honing her art skills throughout the years. She first discovered her love of photography in middle school.

“Once I got my first phone, I started to take pictures of anything that inspired me,” she said.

Over the years, her appreciation for the art — and her eye for intriguing images around her — has developed. 

“It's been rewarding to see the improvement in my photography skills,”  said Virginia, whose love of animals has served as an inspiration for her work. “I am so thankful to Mrs. Fraser for cultivating my love of photography in class at Harpeth Hall.”

Many student winners reflected on the impact their Harpeth Hall teachers have had on their work.

“I am grateful for all of my art teachers and our art curriculum for inspiring me to continue to pursue art,” Adelaide agreed.

This year’s results are a triumph for both the student winners and their dedicated teachers. The 2023 Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art exhibition will be on display in the Cheekwood Frist Learning Center from February 4 - 26. Gold Key works will be displayed physically, Silver Key works will be displayed digitally, and students receiving Honorable Mention will be awarded a certificate. Gold Key winning artworks will also go on to be judged in the national competition.

"Staring Contest" - Ellery Cook '25

This year's winners:

Kelly Aquino, Gold Key, 3 Silver Keys

Pauline Bailey, Gold Key, Silver Key, 2 Honorable Mentions

Sophia Baldwin, Gold Key, Honorable Mention

Adelaide Cook, Gold Key, Honorable Mention

Ellery Cook, Gold Key, 3 Honorable Mentions

Allie Cunningham, 3 Gold Keys, 1 Honorable Mention

Conner Folk, Gold Key, Honorable Mention

Suki Junge, Gold Key

"1/8 Hours" - Suki Junge '26

Presley Schick, Gold Key, 2 Honorable Mentions

Virginia Callen, Silver Key, Honorable Mention

Mae Eads, Silver Key, Honorable Mention

Hallie Gibson, Silver Key, Honorable Mention

Lilly Kapana, Silver Key

Lulu Kohler, Silver Key

Niamh Manning, Silver Key, Honorable Mention

Amelia Olafsson, Silver Key

Louise Ory, Silver Key, Honorable Mention

Zarai Armstrong, Honorable Mention

Neelam Bittles, Honorable Mention

Lilly Cashen, 4 Honorable Mentions

"Western Beauty" - Conner Folk '25

Sarah Jean Caver, Honorable Mention

Luca Cyr, 3 Honorable Mentions

Ella Fridrich, 2 Honorable Mentions

Madison Goodman, Honorable Mention

Jesse Harwood, 2 Honorable Mentions

Haven Healy, Honorable Mention

Riley Kate Higgins, Honorable Mention 

Sophie Hong, Honorable Mention

Alex Hu, Honorable Mention

Luna Kear, Honorable Mention 

Kim Kirschbaum, Honorable Mention

Abby Lara, Honorable Mention

Ivey Mayes, Honorable Mention

Mary Alice Pierce, 2 Honorable Mentions

Sophia Rokas, Honorable Mention

Lailah Rucker, Honorable Mention

Eliana Slobey, Honorable Mention

Corinne Smith, Honorable Mention

Britton Staley, Honorable Mention

Carole Waltemath, Honorable Mention