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BEST OF SHOW: Kids win awards for work in ‘Art of Being Southern’ exhibition

The student artists whose artwork is exhibited in The Art of Being Southern show at the Johnson Center for the Arts were recognized for their outstanding work at an awards program at the art center on Thursday.

Bill Hopper, board chair of the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Foundation, said the Johnson Center’s mission is to educate the community about the arts.

The Art of Being Southern student exhibition is one way to help accomplish that mission.

“An interest in art begins at an early age and we are excited when students participate in the opportunities that we offer at the Johnson Center,” Hopper said. “Students from local schools were invited to enter their artwork in The Art of Being Southern student show. We have entries from Charles Henderson middle and high schools, Troy Elementary School, Covenant Christian and Pike Liberal Arts. It is exciting to see that students have an interest in the visual arts and, from the artwork in this show, we know that there are many talented young artists in Troy and Pike County.”

Hopper congratulated the young artists and encouraged them to continue with their interests in art and to be a part of the growing arts community in the local area.

Michael Vaughn Sims of Lowndes County was the guest speaker for the awards program.

He showed the students a 3-D construction piece and told them the story of how the art piece came about.

“I live in the woods and this is just a piece of wood that I found and liked,” he said as he showed the back of the artwork. Around that piece of wood he wound the story of Daphne a Greek goddess whose father turned her into a laurel tree to save her from an unwanted suiter.

Sims said anything can be art and praised the young artists for having an interest in the visual arts and for their insight into what it means to be Southern.

“An interest in art begins at an early age,” he said. “My interest in art began when I was too young to draw. For a while, the art that I did was just crafts –pipe cleaners, sock monkeys. It was not until I was in fifth grade that I really began to draw.”
Sims told the students that anything could be used to make art. Antique linens that belonged to his ancestors are art pieces that connect him to his heritage. He encouraged the students to look to their past and to explore all options that come their way.

“Go away from home but always come back,” he said. “You’ll never feel quite the way you do at home. Go but come back and always remember where you came from. Remember, young artists. Remember.”

Winners in the K-3 group were” Best of Show, Christian Cobb, “Plantation Homes, Covenant Christian School; Paisley Durant, first place with “Grandpa’s Garden,” Covenant Christian School; Joe Drinkwater, second place, “The Hay Field,” Covenant Christian; and Thomas Dillard, third place, Troy Elementary School.

Winners in grades 4-6 were: Best of Show, Katherine Branson, Troy Elementary School; Allie Lewis, first place, TES; Ansley Watkins, second place, TES and Cole Pugh, third place, TES.

Winners in grades 7-9 were: Best of Show, Zion Johnson, Charles Henderson Middle School; Hannah Sparrow, CHMS; Sophie Hollis, second place, Pike Liberal Arts School; and Jacob Helms, third place, PLAS.

Winners in grades 10-12 were: Best of Show, Caden Bryan, Charles Henderson High School; Kaitlin Morgan, first place, CHHS; Clay Barron, second place, PLAS; Ashland McCloud, third place, CHHS.