Students place at Scholastic Art and Writing Awards


Junior Keren Lifschitz won a Silver Key for the photo, titled “Pursuit of Happiness.”


Emma Newman co-editor-in-chief 

Seven students placed in 2022’s regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, winning Silver Key and Honorable Mention awards. 

Junior Ori Cohen Raab, junior Keren Lifschitz, sophomore Adele Murphy and senior Vladimir Zakharov won Silver Keys in the Photography category, while senior Tian Yang won an honorable mention in the Digital Art category and senior Tess Cuen, Lifschitz and junior Angelique Silvestri earned honorable mentions in Photography. 

Photography teacher Timothy Briggs encouraged most of these students to submit their photos to the competition. However, Lifschitz, who won awards for two of her photos, submitted additional photos on her own because she likes getting to see if her photos can win awards. 

Cuen also looked forward to competing, specifically because it was her first time submitting her work for a photography competition. 

“I had taken photography my freshman year and hadn’t had space in my schedule to take the class again until this year. I was so excited to be able to go back into the dark room and take film photos again,” Cuen said via text. “As the class progressed, I got more and more into photography and was excited to submit my photo into this competition.” 

Like Cuen, Murphy had other reasons for competing for an award. For her, the Scholastic competition was a way to help make her competitive for college. 

“I thought it was a great opportunity because I want to major in photography for college, and I thought it would look really well on my resume,” Murphy said. 

Murphy’s photo was about homelessness, as its subject was a homeless woman sitting on a bench. She took the photo from her car and used it as a way to acknowledge the homeless issue. 

“Every day, I shoot from my car window of daily life in the city, and I like capturing candid moments of people walking around, so [taking the photo] was pretty easy. I thought my picture about the homeless lady could spread awareness,” Murphy said. 

This photo, which was taken by Murphy, is titled, “When I grow up, I want to be a teacher”. 

Cuen took her photo on her phone, which she “never” does, because she knew the fog she was seeing was worth capturing. 

“It was early in the morning and I was walking my dogs, when I went around a corner and I could barely see 20 feet in front of me. A biker rolled by, and I took out my phone and snapped a photo as his body disappeared into the fog,” Cuen said. “I knew it was the photo I should submit.” 

Cuen’s photo, above, is titled “Fog”. 

Lifschitz planned to take her photos in Venice Beach after President Joe Biden won the 2020 election. 

“I knew that there would be a lot of celebration, a lot of happy faces at Venice, and people there are always so colorful and light-hearted and loving, so that’s why I went to photograph [there]. There was pride flags and American flags, and it was just really nice to see all the love,” LIfschitz said. 

Lifschitz’s photo, seen above, is titled “Pride” and is the recipient of an Honorable Mention. 

Lifschitz was “super happy” when she found out about the awards she won. 

“I had won an honorable mention last year, but this year, I got a Silver Key, and that means a lot more, so I was super, super grateful,” Lifschitz said. 

Murphy was “excited” when she found out about her Silver Key as well, although she was also “surprised.” 

Cuen, similar to Murphy, did not expect to be awarded for her photography, so she was both shocked and thrilled. 

“I had no idea that I had won, so when I walked into class, Mr. Briggs caught me completely off-guard. He started talking about the winners, but I was beyond confused,” Cuen said. “He announced that I had been one of the winners and I was, of course, happy, but I was more surprised. I couldn’t believe I had even won anything for photography.”