The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Kotta Katsuda Awarded Gold Key

Brendan Sarsfield (high school art) writes on senior Kotta Katsuda’s art and recent recognition by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers as part of their annual award ceremony. Last year, students from across the globe submitted nearly 320,000 original works for the Alliance’s consideration. 


Kotta with all eight pieces submitted to the Art Portfolio for the “Gold Key” award.

Since 1923, the American Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity and talent of youth, and provided opportunities to celebrate creative teens. Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program. This year they honored the creative talents of senior Kotta Katsuda.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and to present their work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Past award winners and former members of the Alliance for Artists & Writers include Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Robert Indiana and John Baldessari. Adding to this pantheon of greats is our very own, budding art-star, Kotta Katsuda.

Kotta was awarded a “Gold Key” for her art portfolio submission, in which she presented a series of eight distinct works that communicated a single cohesive idea through visual investigation.

Kotta’s portfolio playfully explores a variety of media, whilst presenting clear illustrational communication. She teases visually then nudges conceptually, utilizing whimsy, humor and technical expertise to subvert and engage the viewer’s understanding. Kotta will attend art college in the US next year to study concept art in illustration and animation.


“Trial of a Housewife” received a “Silver Key” award.

Additionally Kotta was awarded a “Silver Key” for her Editorial Illustration submission: Trials of a Housewife in which she not only inventively explored a mixed media approach to illustration but also wittily satirized a stereotypical vision of housewifery. Through the work, she visually references archetypal 1950s advertising imagery, whilst giving a nod towards the lyrical circus whimsy of both Chagall and Seurat. The work carries both humor and a deeper message feeding off not only her studies in art but also her wider social education at ASIJ.

As if these achievements were not enough, Kotta’s “Portable Religion Box” and “Mrs Gemsbok” portrait, won honorable mentions for her inventive explorations using texture, collage and gold leaf.

Kotta’s Scholastics Artworks, along with the rest of her AP Studio Art studies, graphic design and portfolio can be viewed through her website: