Aside from being curatorial fellows, one of the exciting parts about the fellowship is that we get to visit and meet other exciting people working in New York. Generally, it’s someone who works at a museum or other cultural institutions, and through these encounters we get to learn how other organizations, for and non-profit, run things.
Our visit into the city this time took us to the headquarters of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, which our interim director BJ Adler was once the director of, but also Deja and myself are alumni having received both Gold Key’s and several honorable mentions.
The three-hour long visit to Scholastic was definitely everything BJ said it would be.What began as a competition where all the art had to be sent in for judging had soon become an online submission process. In streamlining the process, they were able to show us what works we had won keys with via their online archival database that stretched back over nine years.
Seeing how the competition works from the moment applications were opened and down to the moment recipients were chosen had to be one of the more thrilling parts of the entire visit. It brings you happiness to know that kids across the world are creating work and responding to the times, just as artists should, but their work isn’t mediocre either. Those kids have skill.
For Scholastic, I think they were just happy to know that the students they chose to give awards to were still working and successfully landed a position such as we did here in New York. With both of us being from two small big cities, obtaining a fellowship in New York was a big success considering how hard we’ve both worked to get here and do what we do.