Celebrating student creativity and talent is more important than ever, so Shippensburg University’s Art and Design Department is ensuring that the annual high school Scholastic 144 art exhibit continues in a new virtual space.

For the past four years, local high school students submitted artwork for the chance to win up to $1,000 in cash prizes. High school juniors and seniors from select Pennsylvania and Maryland counties now have the opportunity to submit art for the 2020 exhibit. Accepted artwork includes two- and three-dimensional entries that are no larger than 12” x 12” x 12”. Local high school art teachers will choose the student pieces to display in the exhibit and will later judge them.

Online learning can be challenging in a virtual space, especially when it comes to a subject as workshop focused as art. Christine Belton, an art teacher from Springfield High School, explained that her students are reading and watching lessons virtually. They create rough drafts of their work, then share with teachers who provide feedback to students to make adjustments.

Moving online made it difficult for students who could not access their normal range of materials supplied by the schools. Most are restricted to pen and paper. “The overall process is an emotionally dry process and lacks the liveliness of actual conversations and informal crits, but it is what we have,” Belton said.

“It is important that our lives continue in our new reality,” she said. While learning methods evolve, it’s important that learning still continues. Students deserve recognition for their hard work, and they should have a comparable experience to previous students.

“We have to find a way to continue to celebrate the work of high school students who are going above and beyond in their artistic explorations.Our lives have changed, yet we move forward. Participating in student exhibitions should do so, as well, yet within our new normal.’

This year’s exhibition will yield some interesting submissions due to the ability to create work at home.

Pieces can be submitted by teachers at select high schools at artcall.org from April 1 until October 1, 2020. The exhibit will take place from October 31 until November 14, 2020.