Behind the scenes: Archiving the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Michael Barrett  //  Aug 9, 2016

Behind the scenes: Archiving the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Have you ever wondered how we archive all of the outstanding works of art submitted for the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards?

Well, here's your backstage pass!

We sat down with Monica Johnson from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and asked her to describe the full, highly-detailed process. As we get ready for another year of submissions in the Fall, enjoy this retrospective look at the wide variety of outstanding works of art - across numerous mediums - from this year's honorees.

To learn more about the 2017 Call for Submissions for the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, be sure to check this fall for more details!


What does it take to archive the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards works of art?

A lot of patience, attention to detail and a team of dedicated people.


How many hours and days does this take?

It takes a team of seven people including art handlers, photographers, and managers. On average, it takes about one month and roughly 150 work hours to complete the full archiving process.



Can you give us a quick step-by-step process of the art archiving?

Every year, approximately 600 works of art are shipped to New York City at Scholastic headquarters, which is also home to the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Art handlers open each box, and fill out an "Artwork Intake" form. This is an official receipt that we’ve received the work and notes the condition of the work and other details that are later recorded into our database.

All artworks are then arranged according to size in preparation for the photographer. One by one, the works are photographed with the help of two art handlers, who assist with staging the work and transporting it to and from art storage.

This is the fun part when we get to consider each work up close, and really think about the best ways to display them at the National Exhibition in June.

After the photographer sends us all of the images, we decide which works of art will be selected for the annual National Catalog.   


What’s the largest piece of artwork you had to archive?

Nowadays, the work doesn’t get too large because there are new shipping limitations. However, I think the largest piece of artwork was 7 feet by 5 feet. 


Where can we see this past artwork?

We’re still in the process of digitizing works into our online database, so stay tuned for more amazing works of art throughout the decades.

Works of art from the past six year (2010-2016) are currently available in our online database at: