Keeper of the Plans

Wichita high schooler wins prestigious $10,000 prize for photography

A photo by Wichita Southeast High School senior Markel Randle, as part of his “MOVIE STILLS” portfolio, which recently won a national Gold Medal Portfolio award.
A photo by Wichita Southeast High School senior Markel Randle, as part of his “MOVIE STILLS” portfolio, which recently won a national Gold Medal Portfolio award. Courtesy/Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

A budding photographer from Wichita Southeast High School recently won national acclaim for his work.

Markel Randle, a 17-year-old senior at the school, was selected as one of 16 students nationwide to win the Gold Medal Portfolio award as part of the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Randle submitted a portfolio called, “MOVIE STILLS,” which draws inspiration from cinematic images. The works “explore how photo documentation relates to self-worth,” according to a news release from Scholastic.

He wins a $10,000 college scholarship, and his photography will be displayed as part of the Art.Write.Now National Exhibition in either the Pratt Institute or the Parsons School of Design in New York City later this year.

Randle, along with the other winners, will be honored at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 6.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, in its 96th year, is the longest-running awards program for creative teens in the United States. It recognizes young talent in art and literature from grades 7-12.

Award-winners over the years have included now-famous artists like Tom Otterness, David Salle (both also from Southeast High School), Andy Warhol, and writers Truman Capote and Sylvia Plath.

Over 340,000 works of art and writing were submitted to the awards program in 2019 — including more than 2,400 in the Wichita area.

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.
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