News & Info‎ > ‎News Feed‎ > ‎

Junior Gerry Varra is a 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Gold Medal Winner

posted Apr 10, 2013, 10:54 AM by Lisa Kreinbring
Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design junior Gerry Varra has been named a Scholastic National Gold Medal winner. Out of 15,000 submissions nationally, only 51 artists received awards in Texas and seven from San Antonio. Gerry was the only Gold Medal winner from San Antonio. Gerry’s winning work of art, titled “Don’t You Look at Me!” is a pastel self-portrait that gives insight to Gerry's personality, highlighting his love of llamas and his trademark eyeglasses.

Gerry will attend the special awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on May 31, which will also celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teenagers has announced its 2013 National Award recipients. More than 1,600 of the most talented and ambitious students in grades 7-12, representing 47 U.S. states, as well as students in Washington, DC and American schools abroad, received national medals. Students' works were blindly adjudicated, first locally through the 116 affiliates of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, then nationally by panels of judges comprised of renowned artists, authors, educators, and arts professionals. Works were judged on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal vision or voice. Teachers of national winners were also recognized with awards.

“We are so proud of Gerry, an amazing artist and student who exemplifies the best of what Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design has to offer. His work is both bold and thoughtful, and his dedication to cultivate his talents is an inspiration to his peers at our school. We have always known that Gerry’s work is exceptional so it’s gratifying to all of us in the school that Scholastic has also deemed it so,” said Jeffrey D. Flores, Superintendent and Principal of Henry Ford Academy for Alameda School for Art + Design.

2013 marks the 90th anniversary of the Awards, and this year’s program attracted more participants than ever before. More than 230,000 submissions were received in 28 categories, including dramatic script, journalism, humor, novel-writing, science-fiction, as well as painting, sculpture, photography, fashion design, film and animation, and video game design, among others.

“This 90th year of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards demonstrates just how vital the program is to America’s creative young people,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “We received more entries than ever before, and the depth of talent from all across the country is astounding. In some cases, an Award and its attendant scholarships can make the difference between whether or not a young writer or artist attends college. We are privileged to provide recognition and assistance to these deserving young people, and to celebrate the importance of arts education in American cultural life.”

This year’s National Celebration will kick off in New York City on May 31 when the LED super signs at 1515 Broadway in Times Square will feature the Awards throughout the day. That evening, national winners will be honored onstage at a special ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall. In addition, for the first time ever, in celebration of the 90th Anniversary, the ceremony will be webcast live from Carnegie Hall. Select Award-winning art and writing will be exhibited at Parsons The New School for Design and the Pratt Manhattan Gallery through June 15, 2013. The exhibition and accompanying public programs are co-sponsored by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is generously supported by Scholastic Inc., The New York Times, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Command Web Offset Co., the AMD Foundation, Blick Art Materials, the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious program of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibitions and publications. Over the past five years, students have submitted 920,000 works of art and writing and over $40 million has been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning participants. The Alliance partners with 116 regional affiliates to bring the program to local communities, and works with a network of more than 60 colleges and universities to increase scholarship and award opportunities. More information about the Alliance and its programs can be found at


About Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design

Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design (HFA: ASAD), is San Antonio’s art and design high school that opened in 2009 and will graduate its first class of students in June of 2013. HFA: ASAD engages students and prepares them for the future through strong academics, a college-going culture, intensive art and design preparation, and real-world experiences with adult professionals in the workplace that focus on innovation and creativity. HFA: ASAD is implementing a school design developed by HFLI which includes what is thought to be America's only innovation-based high school curriculum where learning centers around design challenges that bring students together and engage them in the process of developing a solution to a real-world question. Families are encouraged to obtain applications and learn more about San Antonio’s art and design high school by calling 210.226.4031. 

Lisa Kreinbring
HFLI Communications