National Exhibition of Teen Art on Display at USD

Image Michelle St. Vrain Michelle St. Vrain, interim director of University Art Galleries, with one of the pieces of art in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards display.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Art.Write.Now.Tour 2015–16, a traveling exhibition showcasing more than 130 original pieces of art and writing by teens from around the U.S., including a Brandon, South Dakota, native, is on display at the University of South Dakota John A. Gallery.

The artists won the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Their work is also currently displayed at the Crazy Horse Memorial. Both exhibitions are free, open to the public and run through April 1.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the country's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7–12. In the 2015 program year, more than 300,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level in the awards’ 29 categories, which include poetry, painting, architecture, short story, fashion design and more. These emerging artists’ and writers’ works were first adjudicated regionally, then again on the national level by leading creative professionals.

Notable past Scholastic winners include Stephen King, Robert Redford, Andy Warhol and Truman Capot. Alums who now work at USD include photo professor John Banasiak and Michelle St. Vrain, interim director of University Art Galleries.

Jacob Boomsma graduated in 2015 from Brandon Valley High School in South Dakota and has one of the 130 pieces on display at USD, a digital photograph titled, “A Fast Food Nightmare.”

“I felt very accomplished and proud of myself and optimistic for my future with photography,” said Boomsma, who’s studying graphic design and photography at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The Art.Write.Now.Tour 2015–16 and the Scholastic Awards are presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and the tour is funded by the support of Scholastic Inc., The National Endowment for the Arts and Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News