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Area students win art awards
Five local students won eight art awards in the 2008 Eastern/Central North Carolina Scholastic Art Awards competition. More than 75,000 students in grades 7-12 submit artwork to this contest on the regional level annually. Around 30,000 win regionally, and about 1,000 regional winners earn national awards.

Art teachers select their students’ best artwork to submit to the regional contest. Jurors award Gold Key Awards to the most exceptional artworks in each category, and Silver Key Awards are given to works that gain high honors in each category.

This year, Gold Key Award winners from the Nash and Edgecombe county area are William Ryan Mayo and Craig Park of Rocky Mount Academy’s high school (art teacher: Carolyn Patton). Gold Key artwork is forwarded to New York City to be assessed at the national level.

Local Silver Key Award winners are Erin Rice of Rocky Mount Academy’s middle school (art teacher: Michele A. Cruz), and Katie Horner and Ian Martinez of Southern Nash High School (art teacher: Kelly Williams).

The exhibition of the local region’s Gold and Silver Key Awards artwork will be on display at Barton College in Wilson, NC, from Jan. 20 through Feb. 10. The Eastern/Central North Carolina Scholastic Art Gold Key Awards ceremony is scheduled for 2 pm on Sunday, Jan. 20, at Barton College (inclement weather optional date: Jan. 28).

Supported by their teachers and other community mentors, participants create and submit their best artwork in the following categories: art portfolio, animation, ceramics and glass, computer art, design, digital imagery, drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, photography portfolio, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, video and film. Jurors look for artwork that exemplifies “originality, technical proficiency, and the emergence of an authentic vision or voice.”

This year’s local winners entered artwork in variety of categories. William Ryan Mayo, of Rocky Mount Academy’s high school, earned three Gold Key Awards for his art portfolio, and two paintings. Craig Park, also of Rocky Mount Academy’s high school, earned a Gold Key for his painting.

Erin Rice, of Rocky Mount Academy’s middle school, earned a Silver Key for her painting. Katie Horner, of Southern Nash High School, earned a Silver Key for her textile art. Ian Martinez earned two Silver Keys for his graphic design and drawing.

Regional Gold and Silver Key award recipients are recognized with lapel pins and certificates. On the national level, award recipients are recognized with medals, certificates, and listing in the national catalog and on the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers website. A selection of national award-winning works is included in the national catalog and the annual anthology.

Teachers of students who receive national awards are also honored and several cash awards are presented to them.

For the past 85 years, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have been identifying the next generation of young artist and writers. This program offers early recognition of creative teenagers and scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors.

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