Congratulations to the 2020 winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We are thrilled to celebrate their great work, which we hope provides a diversion during such a time of uncertainty. These students have created visually stunning and meaningful imagery, and we are proud to see them brilliantly uphold the BASIS Independent standard for setting the bar high for our school and entire community. 

A full list of students honored follows:

Ian Baker (photography) - National Honor, 2 Gold Keys, 3 Silver Keys, 5 Honorable Mentions
Danny Dolan (photography) - 1 Gold Key, 3 Honorable Mentions
Kiana Gayle (photography) 1 Honorable Mention
Denise Hewitt (photography) - 1 Gold Key (Portfolio!!!!), 1 Silver Key, 2 Honorable Mentions
Chiara Padejka (poetry) - Honorable Mention
Oliver Reynolds (photography)- 1 Silver Key
Alexander Rosenzweig (drawing & illustration) - 1 Honorable Mention
Luca Suarez (drawing & illustration, digital art, personal essay/memoir) - 1 Silver Key, 3 Honorable Mentions

Mr. Opirhory of our Fine Arts Faculty shared some more information on our award recipients:

Ian Baker, exceptionally devoted to his craft, is blazing trails in photography.  He’s a young talented digital photographer who has a strong understanding of software such as Lightroom. The work he’s produced is technically pristine and exhibits an understanding of two-dimensional space that transcends his age. He’s been a student of mine for the past three years, and I’ve watched him develop a keen eye for complex narratives.

baker scholastic

Denise Hewitt, a rising superstar, published photographer, and exceptional human being, has the momentum of a master. I’ve watched her develop her perspective of the world, and I am thoroughly impressed. She’s an active member of the many communities, and it shows in her work. Her knowledge of film photography is ever expanding and bucks the current trend of digital. Her personality and presence is strong beyond her years, as she exemplifies a wisdom not seen in many her age. In the short time I’ve known her, she has won multiple awards, each one well deserved (although personally I feel she deserves even more accolades). More importantly, she is telling stories that need to be told.

Scholastic Arts 6

Danny Dolan, another exceptional human being and photographer, is also setting the bar very high. His work ethic and love of the craft of photography is unmatched. I have watched him develop over the years as an extremelyScholastic Arts 2 reliable individual. He is a constant participant in photography class and always takes time to help others in shooting and editing a project. Danny is a technique-driven individual, his work shows a focus on the details. His potential as an artist is immense.  

Of the other individuals who’ve won, we’ve seen a great showing. These range from the beautifully skilled drawings of Luca Suarez and Alex Rosenzweig, to the milk inspired photo by Oliver Reynolds, and the urban solitude of Kianna Gayle’s photo. All exceptional in their own way.  

Scholastic Arts 3Scholastic Arts 4

As BASIS Independent Brooklyn grows, we see more and more flourishing talent. I am extremely proud of our students, their intelligence, artistic vision, and mostly their potential. I cannot express my gratitude to them, as they continually inspire me, and I look forward to their future with a sense of awe. Even in such strange times, I feel comfort knowing that these individuals are our future. As the saying goes “It takes a village,” so take a moment not only to congratulate them in their successes, but their teachers(all of them), and yourselves in raising them.  

Scholastic Arts 5