With snow and bitter cold closing schools for five days in early January, coordinators of the regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards worried about being snowed out, not snowed under with entries.
But teachers and students surprised staff at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art by submitting more than 3,700 entries in the final three days, setting a new record of nearly 4,300 total entries for the area competition, the museum said in a news release.
Max Meyer, the museum's director of children's education, praised teachers for helping students get their work submitted.
The school cancellations the week of Jan. 6-10 came at a time most students would have been submitting their art or writing entries for the competition.
Two days before the original entry deadline, the museum had received only 500 entries, Meyer said. The museum then extended the deadline by a day to give students and teachers more time.
Rule changes requested this year by the Scholastic organization also sped up the entry process, Meyer said.
In the past, the actual art work had to be delivered to the museum for judging, which included placing drawings, photos and other one-dimensional art in matting. This year, the rules specified these entries had to be submitted as digital photographs of the actual art.
“Teachers didn't have to matt the pieces,” Meyer said. “If they had to matt the pieces, teachers never would have gotten the work in.”
Judging began Jan. 18.
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are open to middle school and high school students. Last year, the museum received a combined total of more than 3,600 art and writing entries.
The event, which is co-sponsored by The News-Sentinel, includes art entries from students at schools in 13 Indiana counties and 13 Ohio counties. The writing competition includes students from schools in 39 Indiana counties and 13 Ohio counties.
This year's regional award recipients will be honored at a ceremony Feb. 9 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in downtown Fort Wayne. Their work also will be displayed beginning that day at the Museum of Art.
Gold key winners will advance to national judging. Last year, Fort Wayne regional gold-key winners received 47 national awards.
Speakers at the Feb. 9 award ceremony will include Brett Golliff, an Angola High School graduate who entered in the Scholastic Art Awards while in high school. Golliff went on to design New Balance sneakers and currently is Color and Trim Lead Designer with General Motors.
Golliff coordinated exterior colors and interior trim for the 2014 Corvette Stingray, which won Car of the Year earlier this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.