Tatum HowlettTatum Howlett, a senior at Ridgefield High School, has received an award for her artwork in the 2017 Washington State Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Her entry, “Bernadette & Raymond Get in Trouble,” won a Gold Key award in the Comic Art category.

Tamara Hoodenpyl, Visual Arts Instructor at Ridgefield High School, received the news early this month. “I am so proud of Tatum,” said Hoodenpyl. “She’s a dedicated, hard-working artist. She has proven that with focus, great things can be achieved.”

“Winning a Gold Key is such a great and exciting honor, and my confidence as an artist has increased tenfold,” said Howlett. “I’m excited to see where my future opportunities will take me!”

Howlett, along with dozens of other exceptionally creative students from across the state, will be recognized at a reception in Seattle on Sunday, February 19 at the Cornish College of the Arts. A gallery exhibition open to the public will display the winning entries February 13-17.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7-12. Last year, students submitted nearly 320,000 works of visual art and writing to the Scholastic Awards. More than 85,000 works were recognized at the regional level and celebrated in local exhibitions and ceremonies.

The top art and writing at the regional level advanced to the national stage, where 2,500 works earned National Medals. National Medalists and their educators were celebrated at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

“Tatum’s work is worthy of this honor,” said Tony VanderMaas, Ridgefield High School Principal. “RHS is blessed to have such creative students. We are committed to offering quality programs for students gifted in the arts.”