NOCCA Student Wins $7K Rau for Art Scholarship Competition

+ 3 students from New Orleans schools take top honors

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – M.S. Rau announced that Khalil McKnight, an 11th grade student at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), has won the 10thannual 2022 Rau for Art Scholarship Competition.  

McKnight’s entry titled “Still N***a” is an acrylic on canvas self-portrait inspired by Jay-Z’s song The Story of OJ and his “lived experiences as a young black man.  The teen learned that he had won the prestigious scholarship at a private luncheon for the judges and finalists at the M.S. Rau Gallery on Royal Street this past Saturday, May 14, 2022. 

A total of $13,000 in scholarship funds were awarded to this year’s winners:

  • 1st Place – Khalil McKnight – New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, 11th Grade 

$7,000 (+ $500 to winner’s high school art department)

  • 2nd Place – Elliena Ingraham – Patrick F. Taylor, 12th Grade


  • 3rd Place – Ella Stouse – NOCCA, 12th Grade


  • 4th Place – Olivia Boyd – Academy of the Sacred Heart, 12th Grade


This year’s the theme was Art Inspires Art and students were asked to create an original artwork inspired by another non-graphic form of art. These works celebrated the creativity of fellow artists by conveying experience of music, words or movement and more.

To commemorate the competition’s 10th year, the scholarship committee increased the prize money and added a 4th place. Lauren Goforth, Rau for Art Scholarship Committee Chair said, “We wanted to expand the scholarships this year not only to celebrate RFA’s 10th year, but also to celebrate the incredible pool of talented young artists in our area. We wanted to be able to reward even more young people who think creatively and push themselves artistically.”

More than 120 students from 33 different local high schools across New Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, and St. Charles parishes submitted artwork to the competition.  In March, ten finalists were chosen and their works displayed in a two-month exhibition at the gallery and online.

This year’s esteemed judging panel included M.S. Rau’s President Bill Rau, Ron Bechet, Gia M. Hamilton, Jocelyn Reynolds, Lisa Pasold, and Jamar D. Pierre.  

About Rau for Art:

It is the Rau For Art Foundation’s mission to promote the talent of our community’s emerging artists at the high school-level by awarding their excellence in artistic achievement. It is our hope that these students, in turn, make the arts an integral part of their adult lives and share their passion with the world. Rau for Art awards scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $7,000, with additional funds allotted to high school art departments for art supplies.

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