Two Richmond-Area Students Celebrated At National Scholastic Art & Writing Award in New York City

June 28, 2022 News

In February 2022, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond hosted the Richmond region Scholastics Art & Writing Awards exhibition and displayed work by the region’s burgeoning youth talent. Two Richmond-area gold and silver key-winning students from that exhibition were selected as top portfolio winners and were celebrated at the National Ceremony for Scholastic Art & Writing Award held at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 9, 2022.  


Twelfth graders Amina Adeyola, from Appomattox Regional Governor’s School and Andrew Palmer from Henrico High School Center for the Arts were the two Richmond-region students whose writing and art, respectively, were chosen from a pool of award-winning student-works to win national awards. 

Andrew Palmer’s winning portfolio titled, “Blackness in a Frame,” consists of 6 works varying in media, from acrylic on canvas to collage. All the works feature individual portraits, some enclosed in altered frames with decorated floral patterns. Adeyola, who has been writing creatively since elementary school, submitted a collection of poems, titled, “For My Search for Home,” which explores the various aspects of her identity.  

Adeyola credits her family and her writing teachers Ms. Gail Giewont and Dr. Cindy Cunningham as being instrumental in giving her the foundations and the safe space to become a great writer. “My writing teacher Dr. Cindy Cunningham has been one of the people who has inspired me as a poet and writer. She made me believe that I could be an artist and I owe a lot to her. She is one of my favorite people and I can’t wait until I can send her my first poetry book.” 

Scholastics Art & Writing Award is a longstanding and prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7 through 12. Over 700 people attended this year’s national ceremony, hosted by television host, actor, and comedian, Nick Cannon. 

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond hosted Gold and Silver Key winners from Richmond region schools in its True F. Luck Gallery earlier in the year. As the Richmond regional affiliate of the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, VisArts coordinated and supported the jurying process for more than 2,000 submissions from area middle and high school students then exhibited over 150 award-winning works in its True F. Luck Gallery.  

“The Visual Arts Center of Richmond has a long history of cultivating and celebrating artists in our region. Artists at all ages and at all points in their careers have found a home for their creativity within these walls,” says Stefanie Fedor, VisArts’ Executive Director. “As the regional affiliate for the award, we’re incredibly fortunate to see some incredible art from our region’s young artists, and we are ecstatic that their creativity was nationally rewarded and celebrated.”