LA high schooler wins major art scholarship

An abstract figure drawing from high school artist Omar Wiseman. This piece is part of his portfolio, which one him the top prize in the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. Omar Wiseman/Courtesy of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

A senior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts has won a $10,000 scholarship from the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards, a prestigious national competition.

Eighteen-year-old Omar Wiseman is one of 16 students selected to win the top honor as a Portfolio Gold Medalist for his abstract figure drawings. 

"It helps boost my confidence as an artist," Wiseman said. "I feel like it will open up so many opportunities."

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Wiseman is planning to travel to New York in June for the awards ceremony. He plans to use the funds toward studying fine art at Cooper Union, a small private college in Manhattan.

"It's amazing, it's a huge help," Wiseman said.

Wiseman has been attending LACHSA since he was a freshman. He commutes from Van Nuys to the famous arts school, which is located on the Cal State Los Angeles campus. Wiseman uses public transportation, spending about three hours in transit each day. In addition to drawing, he enjoys animation and painting.

More than 300,000 submissions for the competition came in from around the country. The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers administers the awards for 7th-12th-graders. Other National Gold Medal winners for individual work from Southern California include: