Jackson County Youth Art Month winners announced at WCU reception

Western Carolina University is celebrating the artwork of local students with the 2016 Jackson County Youth Art Month exhibit that runs through Thursday, March 31, in WCU’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

A reception was held Sunday, March 6, at the Fine Art Museum in the center with announcement of this year’s winners as judged by WCU art education students. The list of winners included a variety of students from all Jackson County schools. Winning artists were selected from participating schools:

Blue Ridge School: First place, Jonathan Velasquez (grade 11); second place, Gabe Bediente (grade 5); Teachers’ Choice, Jennifer Krafft (grade 11).

Cherokee Elementary School: First place, Lucy Balderas (grade 4); second place, Kalina Blanton (grade 3); Teachers’ Choice, Alexandra Documma (grade 5); honorable mention, Carus Holiday (grade 4), Jayanna Thompson (grade 1) and Kendra Arch (grade 3).

Cullowhee Valley School: First place, Angela Woodard (grade 5); second place, Caleb Borchelt (grade 5); Teachers’ Choice, Miguel Ramirez (grade 2); honorable mentions, Allie Barber (grade 5), Yasmin Espinoza Cisneros (grade 5), Ryah Moss (kindergarten), Parker Hughs (grade 3) and Mae Cass (grade 6).

School of Alternatives: First place, River Otter (grade 4); second place, Alex Do (grade 4); Teachers’ Choice, Shanna Fisher (grade 6); honorable mention, Maggie Martinez (grade 12).

Scott’s Creek School: First place, Daniel Rock (grade 7); second place, Talan Cox (kindergarten); Teachers’ Choice, Anna Duong (grade 8); honorable mentions, Annalisia Boone (grade 1), Mallorie Mahoney (grade 8), Jimmy Austin (grade 2), Sarah Pee (grade 6), Marlee Verrault (kindergarten), Kayden Moore (kindergarten), Valerie Pruette (grade 4), Hayes Stewart (grade 4), Aaliyah Sutton (grade 2), Emily Lackey (grade 6) and Tessa B. Connolly (kindergarten).

Smokey Mountain Elementary School: First place, Marwill Delgado (grade 8); second place, Anneka Abbot (grade 6); Teachers’ Choice, Jonathon Saylor (grade 2); honorable mentions, Brandon Ly (grade 2), Tishara Sneed (grade 7), Matilde Arkansas (grade 1) and Macy Swaney (grade 8).

Smoky Mountain High: First place, Evan Grant (grade 2); second place, Morgan Carpenter (grade 11); Teachers’ Choice, Brittney Gunter (grade 12); honorable mentions, Katie Jacobs (grade 12), Meredith Stack (grade 12), Angel Bryson (grade 12), Kendall Rhymer (grade 12), Gracie Rubel (grade 9) and Lucy Miller (grade 9).

Summit Charter School: First place, Silas Howell (grade 8); second place, Jamie King (grade 7); Teachers’ Choice, Colton Taylor (grade 8); honorable mentions, Owen Yanik, (grade 7), Emily Stiwinter (grade 1) and Hudson Grothe (grade 5).

WCU School of Art Education Director’s Award: Holly Gunter (grade 11), School of Alternatives.

WCU School of Art and Design Director’s Award: Gabe Lebron (grade 10), Smoky Mountain High School.

Claymates Award: Emily Lansford (grade 10), School of Alternatives.

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.

Event sponsors include WCU’s School of Art and Design, Art Education Club, College of Fine and Performing Arts, Bardo Art Center, Fine Art Museum and 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.