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Boisean Wins Scholastic's Portfolio Gold Award

And This Modern World nabs the 2013 Herblock Prize

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Renowned artists like Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath and Robert Redford have all won Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Now, one of Boise's own, Samantha West, will join their ranks.

West, a 17-year-old Capital High School senior who will turn 18 on Saturday, April 6, received an early birthday present when she was selected from a pool of more than 230,000 submissions to receive Scholastic's prestigious Portfolio Gold Award.

"I considered doing it last year, but I didn't want to pay the entry fee because I was a cheapskate," said West. "This year, my teacher really pressured me, saying, 'You're going to enter this, or else you're not my student.' I'm really stunned. I'm kind of freaked actually."

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, is the longest-running scholarship in the United States awarded to young writers and artists. This year, more than 1,600 students in grades 7-12 were awarded national medals, but only 15 high-school seniors were honored with a Portfolio Gold Award, which includes a $10,000 cash scholarship.

West will travel to New York City Friday, May 31, to attend the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall, which will be webcast live.

Speaking of winning prestigious awards, regular Boise Weekly syndicated cartoonist Dan Perkins--aka Tom Tomorrow, creator of This Modern World--has nabbed the 2013 Herblock Prize. In 2012, Matt Bors was the first alt-editorial cartoonist to pick up the award, and Perkins, who is syndicated in approximately 80 newspapers around the country, continues that tradition this year.

"It's an overwhelming honor and I'm immensely grateful for it--and very pleased that the genre of alt-weekly cartoons is increasingly being recognized," Perkins told the Washington Post's Comic Riffs blog.

And on the topic of honors, portrait artist Toni McMillan is offering graduating seniors at Boise State University Portraits of Honor to accompany their framed diplomas. McMillan has a table in the Bronco Gallery every Tuesday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. throughout April and May to discuss portrait commissions with upcoming grads. She's also hosting a meet-and-greet during the Boise State Graduation Fair, Tuesday, April 9, and Wednesday, April 10, in the Student Union's Hatch Ballroom from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. McMillan will donate 30 percent of all sales to Boise State scholarships.

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