Congratulations to the 2021 winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We are thrilled to celebrate the inspiring student work, which in many instances powerfully documented life during the pandemic. Students have created visually stunning and meaningful imagery, and we wanted to share many of the pieces honored by Scholastic. We are proud to see them brilliantly uphold the BASIS Independent standard for setting the bar high for our school and entire community. 

Across BASIS Independent Brooklyn and Manhattan, 19 students were recognized with a total of 40 awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. 

A full list of students honored follows:

Alexandra A.: 1 Honorable Mention (photography)
Athanasios A.: 1 Silver (photography)
Ian B.: 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Honorable Mention (photography) 
Danny D.: 2 Gold, 4 Silver, 2 Honorable Mention (photography)
Addison F.: 1 Honorable Mention (photography)
Sofia G.: 1 Silver (photography)
Hudson H.: 1 Honorable Mention (photography)
Alexa L.: 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Honorable Mention (photography) 
Avi L.: 1 Honorable Mention (photography)
Andres M.: 1 Honorable Mention (photography)
Pearl N.: 1 Honorable Mention (photography)
Daniella S.B.: 1 Gold (personal essay and memoir)
Szymon S.: 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Honorable Mention (photography)
Gretchen S.: 1 Honorable Mention (painting)
Luca S.: 2 Gold, 1 Sliver (digital art)
Stanislaw W.: 1 Silver (poetry)
Lyra Y.M.: 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Honorable Mention (painting) 
Milo Z.: 1 Gold (drawing and Illustration)       
Yanyu Z.: 1 Honorable Mention (photography)

"Congratulations to this year’s winners," said Mr. Opirhory, Fine Arts Subject Expert Teacher (SET) at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. "It is with absolute joy that we celebrate our arts department and all of our student’s hard work. I am so grateful for each student’s participation in building our creative community across campuses."

Mr. Opirhory and Mr. Smith, the Fine Art SET for our Manhattan campus, shared some more information on our Gold medal award recipients in photography, digital art, drawing/illustration, and painting:

Ian's work continues to impress. He’s won a variety of awards over the years and is still creating pristine photographs. His compositions, value structures, and decisive moments pull the viewer into the imagery with its contrast. - Mr. Opirhory

Ian's Gold Key photograph "Agricultural Burning":

Agricultural Burning_Ian Baker (003)-1

Danny has excelled this year with work that confronts the viewer. His recent photography is asking big existential questions. His work transcends “good photography” and presents a world that isn’t an “either/or” but an empathetic, precise, and aware tapestry of the highs and lows of humanity. In many ways, I feel he is truly exceeding the potential I had observed in the past. I cannot wait to see how he can further develop as an artist. - Mr. Opirhory

Danny's Gold Key photograph "Lonely Streets":

Lonely Streets_Danny Dolan (004)-1

As a photographer, you have to be ready at any moment; you never know when inspiration will find you. In Priceless, Alexa's understanding of visual language and ability to speak through a photograph are on full display as she draws our attention to its subject through the use of light, shadow, and color. She has found the perfect moment to showcase the universal language of art and its importance to all people. Hands of all ages reach towards an array of colored chalk, excited to leave their mark on our world. - Mr. Smith

Alexa's Gold Key photograph "Priceless":


Szymon, a new face to our visual arts electives classes, has made a fast impression. His focus on creating work as a response to the ideas has led to some wonderfully unexpected art. He approaches each project with a strong vision and determination. He excels at photography and drawing (although I have a feeling he would do well with most mediums). - Mr. Opirhory

Szymon's Gold Key photograph "Night Shift" at the top of the blog post and "Barber" below:

Barber_Szymon Snoeck (003)-1

Having known Luca since 2016, he has impressed myself and so many with his Pop Art compositions and social commentary. In his work, each line is a universe and each drawing embodies the thrill of consciousness. His drawings are powerful, comedic, and masterful as is his personality. - Mr. Opirhory

Luca's Gold Key digital art "Divine Intervention":

Divine Intervention_Luca Suarez (003)

As Lyra expands her portfolio, she is excelling at creating technically proficient art, as well as building her own unique visual narrative. She has explored a variety of imagery and her work is paying off. The scenes she composes describe our coexistence with nature in playful and complex ways. The images tell an imperative story to humanity at a time where it is so easy to lose touch with our surroundings. - Mr. Opirhory

Lyra's Gold Key painting "Nature Is within You":

Lyra sample-1

One of the youngest of our Gold Award winners, Milo is showing his virtuosity. He approaches each project with an exploration of mark making, a dedicated work ethic, and a reverence for experimentation. His potential is great, and I look forward to each and every new idea he illustrates. - Mr. Opirhory

Milo's Gold Key illustration "Love":

Love_Milo Zaks

Our students continue to inspire us. We are extremely proud of them, their intelligence, artistic vision, and mostly their potential. 

Stay tuned for our next blog post covering 2021 Scholastic Writing award recipients.