Fox Chapel student wins in national art competition

Fox Chapel Area School District  |  Posted on

Jessica Jing McCann

Fox Chapel Area High School senior Jessica Jing McCann was named a national winner in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2021. Jing won a gold medal for her jewelry titled “Wings of Deception,” and a gold medal and a prestigious American Visions Medal for her jewelry titled “Anxiety’s Flight.” At Fox Chapel Area High School, Jing is under the instruction of art teachers Sarah Stewart and Sarah Patrick.

Jing’s jewelry (wearable art) is designed to communicate how stress and anxiety impacts her and others and how it takes a toll on her mental and physical health. Her artwork is meant to serve as statement pieces. According to Jing, each piece is physically and conceptually restrictive, communicating the feeling of being trapped and caged while, at the same time, incorporating the beauty of nature found in butterflies.

This year, nearly 230,000 works of art and writing were submitted by students in grades 7-12 through regional contests, and approximately 1,700 were recognized at the national level, including 66 from Pennsylvania. Prior to being named a national winner, Jing was named a Gold Key winner in the Pittsburgh Region of the Scholastic Art Awards 2021. Gold Key works were then judged at the national level by a panel of creative-industry experts and some were selected as the most talented young artists and writers in the nation by receiving national awards.

Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Chris Wisniewski, said, “The past 12 months have presented all of us – including our country’s teens – with unprecedented challenges. The extraordinary young people recognized in this year’s Scholastic Awards have crafted fresh, original work that grapples with the pandemic, racial and social justice, climate change, and more while also mining personal stories of triumph, loss, heartbreak, and growth. The national medalists have blown us away with their ability to express themselves through inspired and inspiring art and writing; now more than ever, we need to hear the voices of these future leaders.”

Jing’s work will be published as part of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Online Galleries in June at Her name will also be listed in the Yearbook 2021, a companion publication to The Best Teen Art and The Best Teen Writing anthologies which feature a selection of work by national medalists. Jing will also be honored with the other national winners as part of the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing National Ceremony that will take place virtually June 9 at 7 p.m.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for young artists and writers.