NORTH CANTON  The National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recently announced its 2016 recipients for the North East Central Region. Hoover High School artists were recognized with high honors for the 18th straight year.

Hoover’s winners, along with winners from other districts, had their artwork displayed at the Kent State Stark Fine Arts and Student Center building. Winners from Stark, Medina, Wayne, Portage and Summit counties were honored at a ceremony on Jan. 28 at the Kent Stark campus. Kent State is one of the partnering universities involved with the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program.

"We’ve participated in some form in the Scholastic Arts awards for at least 26 years," said Christopher Triner, art teacher and art department chair for the district. "The program is highly competitive and it’s important for our art students to see how their work compares to others in the region. Most of the students are looking at a career in the visual field be it graphic design, illustrator, visual arts or architecture."

Students won for a variety of types of artworks such as acrylic painting including landscapes of North Canton, abstract self-portraits, pencil drawings and traditional flat works on canvas and paper.

Triner said competing in the program can offer validation of their talent for many students because they get to see the caliber of their work compared to others in the field. He said North Canton City Schools "strongly encourage our kids to participate."

Hoover had five Gold Key winners:

Tess Cunningham (sophomore)

Nicole Malcolm (senior)

Logan McNutt (sophomore)

Priyashi Saha (senior)

Kaylee Smith (senior)

There were also seven Silver Key winners:

Aidan Bundshuh (eighth-grader)

Tess Cunningham (sophomore)

Nicole Malcolm (junior)

Sadie Reda (junior)

Stephen Richards (senior)

James Ruppert (freshman)

Austin Biss (sophomore)

Hoover also had 21 students from grades 8-12 on the Honorable Mention list.

Triner has recently opened an art gallery in the high school called Studio 525. In 2016, the North Canton Educational Endowment Fund awarded the Hoover High School Visual Art Department a grant to begin the transformation of small space inside the art classrooms into a school gallery space that will allow students the opportunity to exhibit their work.

The Hoover Sideliners Booster organization donated nearly matching funds to pay for additional upgrades to the facility to include improved flooring, art display track systems and blinds. Finally, an anonymous community member’s donation of mobile wall display units completed the early vision of this space.

Studio 525 will allow Hoover students the unique, real-life opportunity to manage and curate a functioning gallery in their school. Long-range goals include showcasing Hoover Alumni shows, K-12 art shows during coordinated community evening events, and a space for students to critique their work and the work of their peers.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have an impressive history dating back to 1923. Past winners include well-known names such as Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates.

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 were moved onto 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.

Art work from each school is submitted digitally and is online for students and teachers to view.