Jackson County Youth Art Month winners announced at WCU reception

Western Carolina University is celebrating the artwork of local students with the 2017 Jackson County Youth Art Month exhibit that runs through Friday, March 31, in WCU’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

A reception was held Sunday, March 19, at the Fine Art Museum in the center with announcement of this year’s winners as judged by WCU art education students. Participants included students from 10 Jackson County schools. Youth Art Month has been celebrated since 1976, and WCU began hosting a local event in 1988. This year’s exhibit includes the artwork of more than 300 Jackson County students from kindergarten through the 12th grade that are selected by area art teachers.

Youth Art Month strives to emphasize the importance of art education for all children and promotes public support for quality school art programs, said Erin Tapley, event coordinator and associate professor of art education. Winning artists are:

Blue Ridge School: First place, Jacquee Lees (10th grade); second place, Chloe Fowler (8th grade); Teacher’s Choice, Jadin Walker (6th grade).

Cherokee Elementary School: First place, Samuel Welch (4th grade); second place, Shona Cole (3rd grade); Teacher’s Choice, Eli Garcia (5th grade).

Cherokee High School: First place, Dylan West (12th grade); second place, Christina Lee (9th grade).

Cullowhee Valley School: First place, Angus Despeaux (2nd grade); second place, Kyndall Gregg (7th grade); Teacher’s Choice, Briana Moses (8th grade).

Fairview School: First place, Lorelei McCoy (4th grade); second place, Jackson Powell (1st grade); Teacher’s Choice, Ernesto Dominguez (3rd grade).

Jackson County School of Alternatives: Claymates Award for pottery, Reyna Owle (12th grade); first place, Kandace McGoldick (10th grade); second place, Hannah Shepard (10th grade); Teacher’s Choice Demetrius Murray (kindergarten).

Scotts Creek School: First place, Aiden Junaluska (1st grade); second place, Nicole Boone (6th grade); Teacher’s Choice, Josi Nelson (1st grade).

Smokey Mountain Elementary School: First place, Nikolai McNeal (1st grade); second place- Kayla Larch (8th grade); Teacher’s Choice, Tishara Sneed (8th grade).

Smoky Mountain High School: First place, Brendan Allman (12th grade); second place, Rachel Raming (12th grade); Teacher’s Choice, Autumn Crisp (9th grade).

Summit Charter School: First place, Angelica Van Flores (5th grade); second place, Anna Nichols (6th grade); Teacher’s Choice, team of Annabelle Leonard, Tyler, Stewart Payne and Stella Wilson.

Event sponsors include WCU’s Art Education Club, College of Education and Allied Professions and the Jackson County Arts Council.

The Bardo Arts Center lobby, where the youth art is displayed, is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information about the event, contact Tapley at 828-227-3598 or etapley@wcu.edu.