SHS Student Wins Highest Honor in National Scholastic Art Awards Competition

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers recently announced the winners of the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and SHS senior, Hiwot Schutz took home a National Gold Key Award for her photo Mother’s Love.

Hiwot is only one of four students in Wisconsin this year to become a National Gold Medalist.* In addition to winning this prestigious award, Hiwot was also recognized with two regional awards including the Docent Class of 2017 Award, for which she was given a $100 cash prize, and the Milwaukee Art Museum Membership Award, which provides her a free annual family membership to the Museum. 

“I am beyond proud and not surprised Hiwot has received a National Gold Key,” says SHS art teacher Jessica Mohagen. “Hiwot's art ignites passion in people in and out of the community of Shorewood. The state and national awards Hiwot earned further highlight how deserving and incredible her creative vision and voice are.”

Students who received a Gold Key Award in the regional competition were automatically entered into the national competition in New York City, where entries were blindly adjudicated by some of the foremost leaders in the visual and literary arts. Many Scholastic Awards alumni have lent their expertise as jurors, including Michael Bierut, Philip Pearlstein, Edward Sorel, Red Grooms, and Gary Panter. Other luminaries who have served as judges include Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Judy Blume, Billy Collins,  Paul Giamatti, Francine Prose, Edwidge Danticat, David Sedaris, Lesley Stahl, Nikki Giovanni, Roz Chast, Wangechi Mutu, Andres Serrano, Kiki Smith, Jill Kraus, Shinique Smith, Rashid Johnson, and Waris Ahluwalia.  

Jurors look for works that exemplify the Awards’ core values:  

  • Originality: work that breaks from convention, blurs the boundaries between genres, and challenges notions of how a particular concept or emotion can be expressed. 
  • Technical skill: work that uses technique to advance an original perspective or a personal vision or voice, and shows skills being utilized to create something unique, powerful, and innovative.
  • Emergence of personal voice or vision: work with an authentic and unique point of view and style. 

To learn more about the history of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which were founded in 1923, explore an interactive timeline here.

For more detailed information on the award process, visit

mother's love