Posted On: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Harding 8th grader Jacob Corder (at left) has been named a national Gold Medal winner - the highest honor - in the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a national competition with more than 185,000 works submitted from more than 50,000 students in grades 7-12 from across the nation.

Corder won his Gold Medal, which represents the most outstanding work in the nation, in the Jewelry category for two pieces submitted together, a felted ring with metalwork base and felted earrings. He will be honored along with the other national winners at a ceremony in May at Carnegie Hall. The national winners were selected from the 1,500 that advanced from their regional competitions in January.

Entries were judged by professionals in visual and literary arts and judged on the following criteria: originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice.

Corder’s pieces have special meaning to him as he created them as a tribute to his family. The ring includes three felt “hills” with faces that represent his mother, his sister and himself. The earrings, one of which is a cloud with sunshine and the other a cloud with rain, are a tribute to his mother.

“The cloud earrings represent good and bad times,” Corder said. “My mom is a single mom and she’s gotten us through a lot of good and bad times and these were a thank you to her.”

And how does Mom feel about that? “It reduced me to tears,” said Julie Corder. “It was the most touching thing I’ve ever heard.”

Corder, who began taking art classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art at age 11, already has a few other significant art accomplishments under his belt in addition to this most recent honor. He took second place for a silk painting he entered when he was 11 at the Starry Night art exhibition held on the eve of the Lakewood Arts Festival and sold one of his papier mache animal creations to Pioneer Savings Bank to hang in their lobby.

Many of Corder’s pieces can be found at Local Girl Gallery in Lakewood, which will be hosting a show of his work in June.

In addition to Corder, two Lakewood High school students who were named Golden Key winners at the regional level also had their work judged at the national level. Senior Peter Barlow won his regional Golden Key for a film titled “Last Hope” and senior Danielle Curran for a painting titled “Purple Hart.”

The Scholastic Awards were founded in 1923 to offer recognition and scholarships for students for their artistic talents.

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