What’s Next for Scholastic Arts Winner, Ai Langevin?

Ai Langevin (12) has always had a passion for art as early as she could remember, exploring different mediums and styles. Her calling gradually came to her in middle school when she began to take art more seriously. Because they aim to capture the essence and beauty of people, portraits were what intrigued her most. 

Ai Langevin (12) stands near her National Silver Medal art piece, “Mother’s Day” (top right), in the Scholastic Arts competition. Photo courtesy of Langevin. Caption by Zachary Gonsalves.

With a last-minute entry and little hope, Langevin entered the Hawai’i Regional Scholastic Arts Competition. Scholastic is a publishing company. Every year they host a contest to give young artists and writers a chance to win specific awards. With the help of her art teacher, Mr. Mosher, Langevin entered a piece that she held near and dear to her heart. 

With a sweet and simple title, “Mother’s Day” the backstory behind it is one not to miss. 

“The photo I referenced of my mom has always been my favorite picture of her,” Langevin expressed. “I remember that we went to a temple on Mother’s day, and the sun was warm but not too bright. She recently got a smartphone and struggled to take selfies, so I decided to take a picture of her for her social media profile pictures. This is easily one of my favorite pieces even today.” 

Little did they both know that her artwork would win her multiple awards, such as Regional Gold Key and National Silver Medal. Here’s the twist: Langevin entered the same contest last year, with the same art piece but with a different title! 

 “I think that emphasizes how the same piece of art can have a different effect depending on the diversity of people judging and the time we are in,” Langevin states. “I think this experience showed me that you shouldn’t give up because you never know when an opportunity will be presented to you. Art is always changing, and everyone can produce something impactful.”

Winning the National Silver Medal in the 2021 Scholastic Arts competition surprised Ai Langevin and boosted her motivation to possibly enter more competitions in the future.  

“I still think I did great on it, but looking at it now the mistakes stand out to me,” Ai Langevin said. “However, it’s a meaningful drawing and I don’t think I can easily replicate it today.”

 As a perfectionist, Langevin worries about how to improve her artwork but recognition for her work is helping her confidence and motivation slowly rise. 

“I don’t feel like my life has been impacted much but I think this experience will push me to be more out there with my work,” Langevin said. 

When Langevin and her mother visited the Hawai’i State Art Museum, where the Scholastic art exhibit is located, her mother wanted to tell everyone around them that the art piece was of her. She was so profoundly proud of her daughter. 

Langevin used to have a straightforward plan after high school, but this year has been especially difficult for her and her family as they faced many personal and financial challenges. With a single parent and a brother soon to graduate, not long after her, Langevin isn’t sure of her path just yet.

“Even if I decide to go to art school or not, my priority will always be growing and learning as an artist,” Langevin reveals. “Whatever I choose to do as a full-time job will always be in the creative field, where I can express my passion for art.”