Congratulations to the 2023 winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We wanted to celebrate the inspiring student work from BASIS Independent Brooklyn this year by sharing the work with our community. Students have created visually stunning and meaningful imagery, and we wanted to share many of the pieces honored by Scholastic in the hopes of inspiring others. We are proud to see them brilliantly uphold the BASIS Independent Brooklyn standard for setting the bar high for our school community and rising to meet those goals. 

"Our students' hard work has led to great outcomes," commented Head of School Josh Harmon. "I'm proud of their creativity and the execution that earned them their awards. Thank you to our teachers for inspiring and guiding our students to express themselves and capture their unique perspectives."

Overall across BASIS Independent Brooklyn, 13 students were recognized with awards in the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. A full list of students honored follows:

  • Olivia B. ‘27 – Honorable Mention (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Katey B. ‘23 – 2 Gold Keys (Photography)
  • Laila G. '24 - Silver Key (Digital Art)
  • Samantha G. ‘24 – Honorable Mention (Photography)
  • Mateo K. ‘25 – Honorable Mention (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Avi L. ‘24 – Gold and Silver Key (Photography)
  • Yorgo M. ‘27 – Gold Key (Photography)
  • Alex R. ‘24 – National Silver Medal, Gold Key, and 2 Honorable Mentions (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Yuna S. ‘24 – Silver Key (Digital Art)
  • Arthur S. ‘27 – Honorable Mention (Photography)
  • Beckham V. ‘26 – Honorable Mention (Photography)
  • Isaac W., '24 - Honorable Mention (Photography)
  • Maren W. ’23 – 2 Silver Keys (Photography)

Art Awards

On top of the regional accolades, this year Alex R. '23 was honored with a National Silver Medal in recognition of exceptional work in drawing and illustration. His award-winning work was displayed in the national exhibit that toured the country. 

"Alex is a wonderfully talented artist," said Ms. Heather Corbett, Fine Arts Subject Expert Teacher. "He had a solid background in realistic drawing coming into class this year and has worked to expand his comfort zone by exploring 5-point perspective in colored pencil, portraits in acrylics and landscapes in watercolors. He is generous and encouraging with his peers and thoughtful in his approach to both his work and the work of his classmates. I am very pleased to have been able to get to know and teach him this year." 

Alex R. 'S National Silver Medal Drawing:

scholastic art national-1

"Congratulations to this year’s winners," said Mr. Opirhory, Fine Arts Subject Expert Teacher. "Their dedication to the arts and unique vision represents the best of our community. With art ranging from photography to digital art, and drawing they continue to impress."

Proud of his students, Mr. Opirhory provided background on each one that we wanted to pair with their recognized entries. All of his students awarded Gold and Silver Keys follow alphabetically.

"Katey Brickner’s contributions to the arts at BASIS Independent Brooklyn have been extensive through the years.  Her artistic merit is immense.  She works in a variety of mediums and it’s great to see her gain acclaim for her photography.  These images are a direct reflection of her creativity, emotional intelligence, and dedication to skill."

Katelyn B.'s Gold Key Photograph "Veil of Silence": 


Katelyn B.'s Gold Key Photograph "The Web Whisper":

Katey Brickner The Web Whisper


"Avi Lockner has excelled at capturing stark and vivid imagery.  His photography set such a unique mood with his use of contrast and composition. Dark in tone, they confront us with their underlying ideas."

 Avi L.'s Gold Key Photography "Works":

Avi Lockner Works

"Yorgo Malafis is a newcomer to photography yet he’s created a number of wonderful works in a short time. He has an eye for iconic and structured imagery and accentuates order in urban environments."

Yorgo M.'s Gold Key in Photography "The Wall":

Yorgo Malafis The Wall

"Yuna Stechert Is an amazing draftsperson/painter. Her talent working with figurative narratives improves with each piece. She works with oil, acrylic, gouache, and watercolor with an attention to detail and a solid understanding of what makes a great image."

Yuna S.'s Silver Key in Digital Art "Fleeting Happiness":

Yuna Stechert Fleeting Happiness

"Maren Williard’s photographs are a spectacular look into the idiosyncrasies of life. This is done so succinctly by juxtaposing the roles of children and adults in a comedic and introspective fashion." 

Maren W.'s Silver Key in Photography "Eve's Temptation":

Maren Willard Eves Temptation-1
Maren W.'s Silver Key in Photography "They Grow Up So Fast":

Maren Willard They Grow Up So Fast

Dean of our High School Program Mr. Goldman was proud to share that Laila G. '23 was awarded a Silver Key for her layered and deeply-historical work created as part of his AP U.S. History class. Dean Goldman shared that it is an "impressive synthesis work, encompassing multiple centuries, and asserts her answer to the question 'What is the Story of America?'"

Laila G.'s Silver Key in Digital Art "The Pursuit of Happiness":

Laila publilcation 1-1

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