LCTI student wins national Gold Medal for drawing

Caleb Knotts holds his award-winning pen and ink drawing, "Over Heaven."

Caleb Knotts, a student in LCTI’s Advertising Design/Commercial Art program, holds his award-winning pen and ink drawing, “Over Heaven.”

SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. | Caleb Knotts’ intricate pen and ink drawing, “Over Heaven” has earned the 14-year-old another accolade: national art award winner.

Caleb, a Whitehall High School freshman in Lehigh Career & Technical Institute’s Advertising Design/Commercial Art program, won a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medal for the piece. He’s slated to pick up the prestigious award in New York City next month (June 2023) ahead of a Carnegie Hall ceremony to celebrate his achievements and those of other talented young artists from across the country.

Caleb was “a bit shocked” but excited to learn he’d won a national accolade for “Over Heaven.” The drawing garnered a Gold Key and a Jury Award earlier this year in Scholastic’s regional contest; it was displayed at Kutztown University’s The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery

Caleb is inspired by the work of Japanese manga artist Hirohiko Araki and hopes to pursue a similar career path. “He always pioneers something new when he’s drawing and that’s kind of the thing I want to do,” Caleb said of Araki, who is best known for the long-running series “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.” 

Advertising Design teacher William Childs said he’s proud of Caleb and confident the teen has a successful career ahead of him. “I think he’s a major talent. He has a very unique pen and ink style, as evidenced by the fact that he was recognized nationally.”

“It’s a huge honor for the school, for him,” Childs said of Caleb’s Gold Medal win. “It’s the first national Gold Medal that this program has ever won. 

Caleb credits Childs with helping him take his artwork to the next level. He said, “My teacher’s really passionate and he motivates his students to be the best they possibly can. I find that incredibly inspiring. I think that’s one of the utmost marks of a great teacher.”

Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. The East Central Pennsylvania art region includes Berks, Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties.

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