Nabila Munshi wins National Gold Medal at Scholastic Writing and Art contest

Nabila Munshi wins National Gold Medal at Scholastic Writing and Art contest
Posted on 03/25/2021
This is the image for the news article titled Nabila Munshi wins National Gold Medal at Scholastic Writing and Art contestDobie High School senior Nabila Munshi has earned the prestigious National Gold Medal award in the Scholastic Art and Writing Contest for her artwork titled, “Ornate Origins.”

Inspired by artist Yulia Brodskaya, the 18”x24” art piece was created using a technique called paper quilling, the coiling and shaping of narrow paper strips to create a design. The art of paper quilling is a tedious and detail-oriented medium and took Munshi roughly four months to complete. 


The art piece has close ties to her native home. In 2017, Munshi moved from Bangladesh to the U.S. with her family and began working with paper. Paper quilling allowed her to highlight the ornate patterns and designs found on rugs used by her family for daily prayer back in Bangladesh.  

Over 80,000 students submitted 230,000 art and writing entries this year. But the judging committee, comprised of some of the most notable leaders in the visual and literary arts, only chose 803 students to receive the National Gold Medal award. Ornate Origins was selected for “excellence in originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal vision.”

"I was surprised to find out that my artwork was given such a prestigious award. It's hard to explain exactly how I feel, it's a bit overwhelming, because we don't get this kind of appreciation in my home country of Bangladesh," said Munshi.

She is now part of a legacy established back in 1923 of national medal winners, including Andy Warhol, Kay WalkingStick, Truman Capote and Robert Redford, all of whom won Scholastic Awards in their teens. Only one percent of submissions since then have received the National Gold Medal award.

Winning is nothing new for Munshi as she has racked up some impressive awards and recognitions over the past four years.

Some of these accomplishments include advancing to the state-level Visual Arts Scholastic Event (V.A.S.E.) for the past three consecutive years. Munshi was also selected as an Honorary H.E.B and TAEA Art Ambassador, which resulted in one of her entries being put on permanent display at a Houston H.E.B. store. In addition, two of her state qualifying entries received a Gold Seal, which is only awarded to the top one percent of entries throughout the state of Texas.  

Munshi’s teacher, Stephanie Albert said she is proud she had the opportunity to guide Munshi through her artistic endeavors.

“Winning the National Gold Medal is the perfect way to end her high school career,” said Albert. “Nabila is nothing short of amazing both as a person and artistically. She is gifted in a way that is not seen very often in students her age and she has a strong sense of composition in all her work as she thoroughly thinks through each intricate detail.”

Munshi not only excels in the arts, but she is also fluent in four languages and will be graduating in the top of her class.

Munshi and Albert would normally be traveling to New York City to be honored at Carnegie Hall during the annual Scholastic Writing and Art awards ceremony, but it was cancelled due to COVID. In lieu of the awards ceremony, her work will now be published in the Scholastic Online Galleries at in June. Her name will also be listed in “Yearbook 2021,” a companion publication to “The Best Teen Art” anthologies that feature a selection of work by National Medalists.

“As much as I'm excited to see what the future holds for her, I'm truly sad to see her go.  She is a student that has forever impacted my career as an educator. I couldn't be more proud,” said Albert.

Munshi was accepted to the University of Houston-Clear Lake where she plans to major in business management.  


Congratulations! We are #PasadenaISDProud!