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2021 Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards

Online exhibition and virtual awards ceremony
February 15, 2021

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running, most prestigious competition, and largest source of scholarships for creative teenagers in the United States. Learn more about the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards.

February 15, 2021 for immediate release
For press images contact Howard Oransky, Director, Katherine E. Nash Gallery
612-624-6518 (office) |
Access the Full Press Release

The University of Minnesota is proud to present the 2021 Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards (MSAA) in collaboration with the Art Educators of Minnesota, including an online exhibition organized by the Katherine E. Nash Gallery and a virtual awards ceremony hosted by the Weisman Art Museum.
Online Exhibition
On view February 15, 2021 - March 31, 2022

Virtual Awards Ceremony
Saturday, February 27, 2021 | 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Hosted on Facebook Live and YouTube Premiere by the Weisman Art Museum

About the Exhibition and Awards Ceremony
The presentation of the 2021 Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards (MSAA) exhibition and the awards ceremony demonstrates the high level of achievement by art students in Minnesota, and the exceptional academic resources at the University of Minnesota for the study, practice, presentation, and interpretation of the visual arts. This is the sixth consecutive year the University of Minnesota has hosted the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards and it’s collaboration with the Art Educators of Minnesota is emblematic of the University’s commitment to furthering the educational and artistic opportunities for young people in Minnesota.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running, most prestigious competition, and largest source of scholarships for creative teenagers in the United States. The Awards program was created in 1923 by Maurice R. "Robbie" Robinson, founder of Scholastic Corporation, and has been administered by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers since 1994. It has an impressive legacy and a noteworthy roster of past winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, and Joyce Carol Oates, and many others.

Established to ensure that literary and artistic talent were recognized in schools and communities across the country, the program began as a small writing contest; today, it offers recognition in 27 diverse categories including animation, architecture, dramatic script, fashion, painting, photography, poetry, sculpture, and video games. The Awards are open to all students in grades 7 through 12 from public, private, and home schools throughout the U.S. (and its territories), as well as American-run schools abroad and community programs serving eligible student populations.

The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers gives out over a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships to top award-winning creative teens to help fund their continued education. Each year, 15 Portfolio Gold Medalists receive $10,000 awards, representing the highest level of achievement for graduating seniors. In addition, national award-winning seniors are eligible for scholarships from a network of 60-plus arts institutes, universities, colleges, and summer programs, which annually earmark well over $5 million in financial aid and scholarships for Scholastic Award winners. The Scholastic Art Awards are also recognized by the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, a consortium of leading art and design colleges in the United States, as an effective way for artistic students to develop successful portfolios for college admission.

The Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards program is organized and administered by the Art Educators of Minnesota. Art Educators of Minnesota is a non-profit 501(c)(3) professional organization dedicated to supporting the professional interests and concerns of visual and media arts educators at all levels. Art Educators of Minnesota supports advocacy for quality arts education for all learners, supports visual art student events that recognize artistic expression and quality, encourages professional growth and collaboration by providing networking opportunities to share ideas and information, informs its members about current trends and issues, fosters leadership, and acknowledges professional excellence in visual and media arts education.
Sponsored by the Department of Art, the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, and the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, and the Art Educators of Minnesota.

Department of Art Mission
At the University of Minnesota, we believe that art has the power to transform our understanding of the world. The artistic practice and research undertaken by our students and professors have a lasting impact on the individual, the community, and the environment, and resonates on visceral, emotional, and philosophical levels. We experiment, we take risks, we engage critically and collaboratively with one another. With our work, we help to provide crucial leadership and context to the ongoing, urgent societal conversations that are taking place at the university and beyond, about our roles and responsibilities to ourselves, to one another, and to the planet itself. Learn more at
Katherine E. Nash Gallery Mission
The Katherine E. Nash Gallery is a research laboratory for the practice and interpretation of the visual arts. We believe the visual arts have the capacity to interpret, critique and expand on all of human experience. Our engagement with the visual arts helps us to discover who we are and understand our relationships to each other and society. The Katherine E. Nash Gallery is a center of discourse on the practice of visual art and its relationship to culture and community—a place where we examine our assumptions about the past and suggest possibilities for the future. The Nash Gallery plays an indispensable role in the educational development of students, faculty, staff, and the community. Learn more at
Weisman Art Museum Mission
The Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota creates art experiences that spark discovery, critical thinking, and transformation, linking the University and the community. Since its origin in 1934, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum has been a teaching museum for the University of Minnesota. Today, education remains central to the museum’s mission to make the arts accessible to the University and public communities. Learn more at