Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Winners 2023

Congratulations to our thirteen Commonwealth student winners in the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: 


Gold Key

Sophia Seitz-Shewmon ’24, "Moa—A Precious Witness of Lost Worlds," Sculpture

Olivia Wang ’24, "Contact," Photography

Bonnie (Xintong) Wang ’25, "When I Reach Far Away," Drawing & Illustration 

Silver Key

Alec Lazorisak ’25, "Urban Changes," Photography  

Kian Park ’23, "Evolution," "Views of a Vacuum," Drawing & Illustration; "Folding Light," Architecture and Industrial Design 

Sophia Seitz-Shewmon ’24, "Unfamiliar Family—Archeotherium," Sculpture 

Honorable Mention

Eliza Lamster ’24, "A Sunrise at Hancock," Photography 

Alec Lazorisak ’25, "Forgotten Trauma," Photography  

Kian Park ’23, "Solace in Solitude," Drawing & Illustration; "Colossus," Sculpture 

Dava Sitkoff ’24, "At the Corner," Photography 

Olivia Wang ’24, "Muzzle, Obscured," Drawing & Illustration


Gold Key

Grace Pariser ’23, "What I Didn't Tell You After Listening to the Radio," Poetry (See below.)

Silver Key

Koki Cameron ’26, "The Solution to the Drug Epidemic is Already Here," Critical Essay 

Sarin Chaimattayompol ’25, "It's Not About the Green Tea," Flash Fiction 

Honorable Mention

Anto Catanzaro ’24, "A Guide to Soul-Shattering," Flash Fiction 

Alex Choi ’23, "Worms in Driftwood," Flash Fiction; "The Rain as Humanity," Short Story

Ella McKee ’23, "The Afterparty," Short Story

Grace Pariser ’23, "To Nero, at the Great Fire at Rome," "Concord," "Solstice," Poetry 


Sample Works

What I Didn’t Tell You After Listening to the Radio
By Grace Pariser ’23

The evening I walked next to you
our shoes slipped in sync and
the sand bar shone as it always had
in the glazed divots of saltwater,
its floor rippled and risen
like fossils of ancient beasts
trampled tender through footprints.

You were right, the gilded palisades of
shale did not splinter and sink into the sea
unlike those bright boxes on the radio,
stories of whole bedrooms in Pacifica
collapsed quietly into the cliff,
left unnoticed until morning.

It would be too easy to remind you
of all those apples felled fallow
in Poughkeepsie, pale perfumes
lifted like dawn’s dense dew,
fruit ploughed pliable by the ploy
of some feverish brute that thrust
its sickle into the soil,
pressed wrathful grapes to wine,
and called itself an angel.

I can’t let myself tell you about all those people in the cones of streetlights holding hands.

I can’t tell you how I saw the city unfold itself above the swan pond,
all those skyscrapers with half lights like graph paper held to a flame.

I can’t tell you about the woman who sang like God in St. Patrick’s Cathedral,
or the man on the plane who spoke to me in sentences that made sense.

I want to tell you all this later,
when I feel full—
the way it had been
to play cards outside the graveyard
in the sleeping sun, to slap the stacks,
fill fists with pine needles orange like marmalade.
How beautiful we all were, then,
how free from death.

That August, we sat still through the torrents
because you told us the leaves
would be brilliant come October,
that it would all, someday, be worth it.


Discover the Arts at Commonwealth