2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

“Fuji Reminiscence” by Melanie Shao ’24 (left) and “Perception” by Julian Lentchner ’23 (right) were awarded a National Gold Medal and the American Visions Award, respectively.

Update: April 6, 2023

Julian Lentchner ’23, Finn Nicolois ’23, and Melanie Shao ’24 received national recognition in the 2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Melanie received a gold medal for her printmaking piece, “Fuji Reminiscence,” and Finn received a silver medal for his poem, “animalistic natures.” Julian won the American Visions Award for his photographic piece, “Perception.” This award is given to only one student in each region.

This year, The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers received over 260,000 submissions. This recognition places these students in the top one-percent of all submissions.

Read “animalistic natures” by Finn Nicolois ’23.

March 2, 2023

George School students were recognized with 73 awards in the 2023 Philadelphia Region Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, with 19 Gold Key awards, 24 Silver Key awards, and 31 honorable mentions. Students selected for these honors are among the top student artists and writers in the greater Philadelphia area. All Gold Key-awarded pieces are considered for awards at the national level. National award winners will be announced in March.

In addition, Julian Lentchner ’23 and Melanie Shao ’24 were each nominated for the American Visions Award. Only five students from each region are nominated for the award, and national jurors will award the honor to one student from each region. 

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers has presented the awards since 1923. The organization recognizes and supports the creativity of young adults across the country, and honors student work that demonstrates originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal voice or vision. 

Our students work tirelessly in their respective studios to refine techniques and skills, while developing critical thinking and searching for their own voices,” shared Director of Visual Arts and Design Danielle Picard-Sheehan. “Each student recognized should be very proud of their achievements. These awards reflect the commitment our Visual Arts teachers have to opening the minds and imaginations of our students. I am grateful to my colleagues for their dedication to their students and for keeping expression and creative thinking a keystone of our community.” 

Head of the English Department Melaina Young ’93 shared, “At George School, students learn to use their voices to amplify and enhance their experiences, speaking their truth. They learn the importance of developing and refining one’s writing voice to comment on the world around us. Through reading and analyzing literature in a variety of genres, students learn what good writing is and how to harness the power of lifting their voices to let their lives speak.” 

Read Gold Key-awarded poems “Steady” by Rhianna Searle ’23 and “animalistic natures” by Finn Nicolois ’23 here.

See the complete list of recognized students below.


Name Title Category Award
Finn Nicolois ’23 animalistic natures Poetry Gold Key
Ryan Park ’25 Take a Leap – or Not Novel Writing Gold Key
Rhianna Searle ’23 Steady Poetry Gold Key
Jingyi Chen ’24 The Foreign Language Education Crisis: The Importance of Learning a Foreign Language Earlier in Schools Critical Essay Silver Key
Rhianna Searle ’23 Sugar Snap Peas Poetry Silver Key
Flora Kim ’24 Bangtan Sonyeondan: The Trailblazers of the West Critical Essay Honorable Mention
Rhianna Searle ’23 A Golden Shovel for the Future Poetry Honorable Mention
Rhianna Searle ’23 Finding Friends at the Churchville Nature Center Personal Essay & Memoir Honorable Mention



Name Title Category Award(s)
Ally Fu ’24  The Piano House Painting Gold Key 
Chase Johnson ’23  Prescriptions Painting Gold Key 
Jerry Chen ’25  Time Drawing & Illustration Gold Key 
Julia Eler ’25  Charcoal Self Portrait Drawing & Illustration Gold Key 
Meadow Gober ’25  Cat’s and their Positivity and Light Keeping me Content Drawing & Illustration Gold Key 
Phoebe Gunn ’25  A Family Walk Drawing & Illustration Gold Key 
Melanie Shao ’24  Fuji Reminiscence Printmaking Gold Key, American Visions Nominee 
Joey DeFinis ’25  Waves of Gray Photography Gold Key 
Celine Ge ’26  Waiting Photography Gold Key 
Abby Kaufman ’26  Fleeting Photography Gold Key 
Julian Lentchner ’23  Perception Photography Gold Key, American Visions Nominee 
Yanshen Ni ’24  Santa Playing the Accordian Photography Gold Key 
Yanshen Ni ’24  Save Clouded Leopards Digital Art Gold Key 
Sarah Zhu ’26  Ethereal Spirit of a Man Photography Gold Key 
Sarah Zhu ’26  Silhouette of a Father and Daughter Photography Gold Key 
Simone Lu ’25  Divided Space Architecture & Industrial Design Gold Key 
Simone Lu ’25 Love Digital Art Silver Key 
Wei Wang ’23  The Study of Johnny Cash Digital Art Silver Key 
Joey DeFinis ’25 Clock Tower Photography Silver Key 
Julian Lentchner ’23 Alone Photography Silver Key 
Julian Lentchner ’23  I hide him from my truth Sculpture Silver Key 
Julian Lentchner ’23 Is this Meatyard? Photography Silver Key 
Julian Lentchner ’23 Sade Photography Silver Key 
Julian Lentchner ’23 Untitled Photography Silver Key 
Yutong Liang ’23  Glass on Wall Street Photography Silver Key 
Adam Weng ’24  Ascension Photography Silver Key 
Maura Whalen ’23  Fading Rose Photography Silver Key 
Jackson Yang ’25  The Stare Photography Silver Key 
Simone Lu ’25 Love Digital Art Silver Key 
Bao Do ’25  My Hobbies Drawing & Illustration Silver Key 
Chase Johnson ’23  The Things That are Grey Photography Silver Key 
Colette Pugliese ’24  Self-scrutiny Drawing & Illustration Silver Key 
Johanna Fassoth ’24  Scherzo Drawing & Illustration Silver Key 
Julia Stebbins ’24  My Other Half Drawing & Illustration Silver Key 
Melanie Shao ’24 Ancient Town of Fenghuang Printmaking Silver Key 
Xiai Pang ’26  New Land Mixed Media Silver Key 
Xiai Pang ’26 Nirvana Drawing & Illustration Silver Key 
Xiai Pang ’26 Distance created by history Flash Fiction Silver Key 
Simone Lu ’25 Dear Jone Design Honorable Mention 
Simone Lu ’25 Who is the Artwork Photography Honorable Mention 
Simone Lu ’25 Gen Z Witch with Blue Heart Digital Art Honorable Mention 
Maggie Beck ’26  Dad and Snickers Photography Honorable Mention 
Joey DeFinis ’25 Red Sun Photography Honorable Mention 
Geng Shuoliang ’25  Harvest Photography Honorable Mention 
Daniel Gluschuk ’25  House of the Gods Photography Honorable Mention 
Julian Lentchner ’23 Looking for Love Film & Animation Honorable Mention 
Julian Lentchner ’23  Luca Mixed Media/Photography Honorable Mention 
Julian Lentchner ’23  My Last Supper Photography Honorable Mention 
Cindy Li ’23  In the Eye Photography Honorable Mention 
Hana Oh ’24  Serenity Photography Honorable Mention 
Adam Weng ’24 Solitude Photography Honorable Mention 
Jackson Yang ’25  Generation Gap Photography Honorable Mention 
Sarah Zhu ’26  Spiraling Up Photography Honorable Mention 
Amani Speller ’23  Guide From Above Drawing & Illustration Honorable Mention 
Chase Johnson ’23   Submerged in Flames Photography Honorable Mention 
Jhane Brooker ’23  Bessie Painting Honorable Mention 
Jhane Brooker ’23 Feelin’ Antsy Painting Honorable Mention 
Jhane Brooker ’23 Hibachi Nights Painting Honorable Mention 
Jhane Brooker ’23 It Just Tickles… Painting Honorable Mention 
Lydia Crenshaw ’24 Cambridge Looking Glass Drawing & Illustration Honorable Mention 
Ruby Mae Colson ’24  Charcoal Self Portraits Drawing & Illustration Honorable Mention 
Sam Tchoumandrine ’25  Midfield Drawing & Illustration Honorable Mention 
Xiai Pang ’26 Lines Drawing & Illustration Honorable Mention 
Xiai Pang ’26 Narcissus Painting Honorable Mention 
Yanshen Ni ’24 Life but with a twist Drawing & Illustration Honorable Mention 
Zoë Goykhman ’24 Current Events Drawing & Illustration Honorable Mention 


Selection of 2023 Scholastic Art Award-Winning Pieces

"Fuji Reminiscence," Printmaking, Melanie Shao '24
"Perception," Photography, Julian Lentchner '23
"Fleeting," Photography, Abby Kaufman '26
"Waiting," Photography, Celine Ge '26
"Things That Are Gray," Photography, Chase Johnson '23
"Save Clouded Leopards," Digital Art, Yanshen Ni '24
"Waves of Gray," Photography, Joey DeFinis '25
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