By Della Hasselle
DOWNTOWN — Manhattanites could see the work of New York's budding Andy Warhol or Martin Scorsese at the Downtown Arts World Financial Center starting Wednesday.
The Art.Write.Now. National Exhibition will showcase photography, sculpture, poetry, film, painting, fashion and much more by winners of the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards at the Courtyard Gallery until June 19th.
Over 1,500 artists, ranging in school grades from 7 to 12, were selected for the awards, including over 100 artists from New York.
They are considered to be some of the nation's most recognized creative protegés, and follow a long line of winners that include names such as Robert Redford, John Baldessari and Joyce Carol Oates.
These young artists are particularly exciting to watch because fans will have a lifetime to follow their progression, said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.
"This exhibition lets audiences watch the emergence of a creative career in real time, from the artists' very first exhibition to the live creation of early work," McEnerney said.
This year, the works in the exhibit touch on themes as innocent as paper dolls and as complex as wheelchair-bound New Yorkers trying to get around in the city.
Other works experiment with reflection and the use of technicolor in photographs with subjects from two adults kissing to a young girl wearing a paper hat while surrounded by blue sea.
New Yorkers curious about last year's winners can check out the adjunct exhibit, Art.Write.Now Atelier, scheduled simultaneously at the venue's Winter Garden.
In the exhibit, six New York-based Awards alumni will create new works live in front of the Downtown audience.
The interaction is important for the artists, who often have to spend a great deal of time alone as they work to create their masterpieces, said Debra Simon, Artistic Director of Arts World Financial Center.
"An artist's life can be a solitary one, so this is also a great way to remind our young participants that there's a whole world of people excited to engage them with the creative process," Simon said.
The Art.Write.Now National Exhibition will be shown at the Courtyard Gallery of the Arts World Financial Center at 220 Vesey Street from June 1 through June 19.