Three South High students win four National Art Awards

DOWNERS GROVE – Three students from South High School in Downers Grove have won national awards from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teens.

Senior Karolina Ambrazaite of Downers Grove received a gold medal for her piece “Family of Three."

Senior Erin Motyl of Downers Grove received a silver medal for her piece “Point and Shoot.”

Senior Maria Padilla of Woodridge received a silver medal for her piece “I am Not Scared.” She also earned an American Vision Medal for her piece “Lost.” American Vision Medals are given to works that are considered "Best in Show" by the national panel of judges.

These students will have their artwork exhibited at Carnegie Hall in New York, New York starting with a gala opening on June 6.

"Earning a national award from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is the pinnacle of success for a high school artist," fine arts department chairman Glenn Williams said in a statement. "It is rare for a school to have just one student receive a national award--let alone four! We are extremely proud of these students, and their mentor and teacher Michelle Ross, for earning this national recognition."

This year, the Scholastic Awards received 255,000 submissions. More than 68,000 art and writing pieces were recognized at the regional level. Of those, 16,668 earned Gold Keys and were considered for National Awards; approximately 2,000 were selected for a national award.

For more information about the awards, visit