The Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Awards 2021

The Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Awards

February 6 – February 21

The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, a national nonprofit organization, was established in 1994 to provide guidance and support for the next generation. The Alliance fosters the creative development of youth across the country through The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, and the largest source of scholarships for young artists. Alumni of the Scholastic Art Awards include artists Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Cy Twombly, Robert Indiana, Kay WalkingStick, Mozelle Thompson, Hughie Lee-Smith, and John Baldessari.

For the 30th year, Cheekwood is proud to present the The Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Awards. The exhibition displays the Gold Key and Silver Key award recipient pieces, honoring the artistic talent and innovation of area students.

View 2021 Scholastic Award Winners

Presented by

Play the video below to see the Gold Key Award & Silver Key Award winning works

University Involvement

For the 2021 Scholastic Art Awards, professors from Belmont University, Middle Tennessee State University, and Vanderbilt University participated as jurors.

Belmont: Katie Mitchell, Casey Schachner, Brandon Williams, Jacqueline Tingle

MTSU: Nickolas Satinover

Vanderbilt: Raheleh Filsoofi

Scholarship Opportunities

Nossi College of Art aims to award a scholarship to a high school senior who has shown exceptional creativity in the visual arts by being selected for the Silver Key, Gold Key, or American Vision Nominee of the Scholastic Art Awards. Nossi offers award recipients pursuing a bachelor’s degree a scholarship of $4,400 disbursed as $400 per semester.

Please contact Mitzi Hatfield, Admissions Director, at 615.514.2787 or admissions@nossi.edu for more information.

2021 Scholastic Art Award Jurors

Arielle Altenburg

Arielle Altenburg’s passion for visual art has led her to becoming an artist, educator, and arts administrator. She received her BS in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught high school visual art in Wisconsin and Michigan before earning her MFA in Arts Administration from Southern Utah University. With the belief that art is essential to shaping our individual and collective identities, Arielle has held positions in museum education and development at Cranbrook Art Museum and Southern Utah Museum of Art and currently manages adult education at Cheekwood. She enjoys traveling, drawing connections between art and everyday life, and hiking with her dog, Laila.

Amanda Brown

Amanda Joy Brown works out of her studio in Nashville, TN. Brown earned her MFA in the painting program at the Savannah College of Art and Design and has continued on to exhibit internationally. Brown’s work explores a textural, layered approach to painting, embracing pattern and line, fusing collage, direct application, and drip techniques. She has attended residencies at SCAD Lacoste and Vermont Studio Center and was a part of Ground Floor Gallery and Studios for several years. Her work is included in private and public collections in several countries.

Andrés Bustamante

Andrés Bustamante is an interdisciplinary artist born in Cali, Colombia, now based in Nashville. He attended Watkins College of Art followed by a self-taught, experimental practice. Curiosity is a catalyst to various mediums, exploring the abstraction in human emotion and human existence. Informed by questions about reality, divinity, psychonaut journeys, and the mystery of life. There is an unquenched search for awe and wonder reflected in his creative process. Bustamante is passionate about community empowerment, diversity and inclusion in the visual arts and is also an outspoken advocate for the decriminalization of plant medicines to further the healing of all living beings.

Raheleh Filsoofi

Raheleh Filsoofi is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her work utilizes ancient and contemporary art media – ceramics, poetry, ambient sound and video – to address issues regarding human condition from a personal perspective. Filsoofi is Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Art.

Cody Hale

Cody Hale is an illustrator and ink splatter artist from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He earned a B.F.A. in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005 and has been working as a freelance artist for over 15 years. Cody exhibits and sells his work at art shows and galleries, and his art has been featured in advertising campaigns, editorial pieces, and awareness events. Cody has won best of show awards at juried events, and also won a Ruthies Award for Rutherford County’s favorite artist in 2017.

Katie (Boatman) Mitchell

Katie (Boatman) Mitchell is a lecturer and the Director of Galleries at the Watkins College of Art at Belmont University. After earning her MFA degree at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Katie received grant and scholarship funding to study and exhibit in Italy at the International Center for the Arts in Montecastello di Vibio. In addition, she was awarded the SPARC Fellowship, which enabled SCUBA diving research in preparation for her culminating thesis project that explored the interconnection between cerebral meditation and aquatic submersion. In 2016, she was selected by the Confucius Institute at Western Kentucky University to participate in the Confucius China Studies Program.

Nick Satinover

Nick Satinover is an artist and educator based outside of Nashville. He holds BFA and MFA degrees from Wright State University and Illinois State University, respectively. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Frans Masereel Center in Kasterlee, Belgium, Kala Artist Institute in Berkeley, CA, and Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA. His work has been exhibited widely, most recently at Megalo Print Studio in Canberra, Australia, and Rural American Contemporary Arts in Mankato, MN. He is an Associate Professor of Print Media and Studio Art Coordinator at Middle Tennessee State University. He lives with his wife, twin sons and rescue animals.

Casey Schachner

Casey Schachner is an Assistant Professor of 3D at Belmont University. She received her BFA in Sculpture from Baylor University and her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Montana. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, ranging from temporary site-specific installations to permanent public artworks. In 2011, she served as an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art in Cortona, Italy and in 2012 was an Artist-in-Residence at the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center in Vermont. She was selected as the 2017 UM Emerging Artist for Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild, in Lincoln, Montana.

Jacqueline Tingle

Belmont University’s Jacqueline Tingle is the Director of Community Education for the Watkins College of Art at Belmont University, where she oversees community educational programming in art and design for all ages. She has over 10 years teaching experience in art education, including 7 years teaching high school visual art in Metro Nashville Public Schools. Additionally, she is the Vice President for the board of Poverty and the Arts (POVA), where she serves as Chair of the Programs and Evaluations Committee. In this capacity, she is overseeing the creation and implementation of a professional development curriculum using a virtual platform to increase program accessibility for learners.

Marcela Castaño Velez

Marcela Castaño Velez is a Colombian loom artist. Her handmade tapestries, looms and decorative implements express the connection she feels with wool, which she has worked with since her childhood on her family’s sheep farm. Her artistic career began in Medellín, Colombia in the early 1990s. She complemented her passion for creating art with a degree in industrial design, and pursued writing as a hobby. These became her best allies as they help power her looms and tell stories while sharing the concepts of her art through shapes, textures and colors. She likes to travel, dance, and spend her free time volunteering with Latinx families.

Brandon Williams

Brandon Williams was born in Easton, PA with a passion for art. His interest in precise drawing, attention to detail, and processes led him to printmaking. He specializes in intaglio printmaking where he creates prints focusing on the competition between the built and the natural environments. He received his BFA from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2013, and his MFA from Kansas State University in 2017. Currently, Brandon is an Assistant Professor of Art in Printmaking/Studio Art at Belmont University. His prints have been shown nationally and internationally in juried exhibitions. Brandon’s works have been published, won awards, and are in permanent and private collections.


XPayne is an exhibiting artist, designer and illustrator based in Gallatin, Tennessee. His work is characterized by color and shape and inspired by pop culture icons, focusing on the Black American perspective. XPayne has experience teaching digital illustration and design at Watkins College of Art and is currently doing contract design work for Nashville Public Radio. He has artwork in many Slim and Husky’s locations and is working on other projects for various clients.

A Tradition 30 Years in the Making

Over the 30 years that Cheekwood has hosted the Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Awards and The Tennessee Credit Union (TTCU) has graciously presented the exhibition, it has become a tradition for TTCU staff to select and purchase one Gold Key piece. Each piece is framed with a plaque noting the winner’s name and year of the exhibition. Nearly 30 pieces now adorn the TTCU offices in Nashville. Below is a selection of the works they’ve collected while supporting student artists.

Copper Autumn, Kelly Linehan, 2006

Nashville Rays, Joachim De Bock, 2010

Into The Woods, Richard Ryan, 1999

Be Still, Katie Ries, 2000

LISTERINE, Olivia Defazio, 2017

I SPY, Gabe Diaz-Barriga, 2012

Gumballs Anyone?, Magen Hill, 2011

The Outsiders, Lauren Halleman, 2001

Precious Water, Lauren Reuther, 2003

Paul McCartney, Abigail Johnson, 2014

A STUDY IN KNOTS, Emma Kimbrough, 2013

Daddy’s Hands, Hannah Krantz, 2009

Untitled Pinecone, Jake Johnston, 2018

9-11, Jake Coffey, 2001

Close Up of A Horse, Alison Gibson, 2015

Chalk Tears, Barbara Xiong, 2016

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