Meet the artists: Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winners Megan Cox and Bronwyn Katz

This year's 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recognized 16 high school seniors who received the program’s highest national honor, the Gold Medal Portfolio, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.

Throughout May, we will showcase two pieces of art from this year's art portfolio winners. This week, we are celebrating the work of Megan Cox, age 17 (Memphis, TN) and Bronwyn Katz, age 18 (Atlanta, GA).

 

What inspires you to create art?


Megan: I am inspired by everyday scenes around me. I might see a tree or, in most cases, cool displays of rain on my windshield that immediately make me want to take a picture or pick up a pencil and start drawing. It always seems like I will run out of ideas for my subject matter, but I always find something else that amazes me.

Bronwyn: Nothing inspires me more than seeing other artists’ work, whether that comes in the form of museum exhibits or street art or picture book illustrations.

 

What do you enjoy most about creating art?

Megan: I love capturing what I see. Being able to make the world around me show up on paper is super satisfying and rewarding. It calms me and challenges me. Drawing water is not easy at all, but I love when what I am trying to portray comes out in my piece.

Bronwyn: It’s incredibly difficult to create art.  Whenever I finish a piece, I enjoy thinking about all the effort and logistical challenges involved in organizing a pile of paper and art supplies into a coherent image.  Because completing an art project is so challenging, finishing a piece feels like a huge accomplishment.

 

Is there an artist or another creative individual whose work has inspired the way you think about art and writing?

Megan: The idea of drawing water came from the artist Gregory Thielker, who paints water and how it distorts the landscape. His work is hyper realistic, only encouraging me more to try to reach the level of clarity and detail in my pieces as well.

Bronwyn: I’ve always loved Hieronymous Bosch’s paintings, despite their goriness.  I also love Basquiat and Kathe Kollwitz, and I recently discovered an amazing children’s book called Duck, Death, and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch. 

 

What advice do you have for new artists or people who want to start trying different mediums of art?

Megan: I had never thought about using charcoal until my high school teacher recommended it. Honestly, just go for it. There is no real definition for art, which makes it so amazing. What is there to lose? Art is any form of expression, and sometimes different mediums provide different outlets.

Bronwyn:  Don’t feel discouraged if your first attempts don’t go well.  It takes a lot of practice to be able to translate your ideas into art, and you may need to try different mediums before you find something that works.  You should also trust your intuition; if something about your art looks wrong to you, fix it instead of hoping no one else will notice.

 

Why is it important to celebrate the arts?

Megan: The arts are how we have entertainment, from movies, to books, cards, art, or music. We have always had art. Art has been around since the beginning of mankind. We must always value the arts, because it addresses social issues, provides insight and beauty, as well as keeps us human. What would we be without art anyway? 

Bronwyn: It’s critical to celebrate the arts because recognizing artistic accomplishment lets artists share their work with a wider audience and allows other creators to build off their ideas.

 

 

Credit: Megan Cox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: Megan Cox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: Bronwyn Katz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: Bronwyn Katz