‘CAPTURING THE ESSENCE’: Anderson awarded 2019 Jean Lake Scholarship

Published 10:24 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Avont Anderson adjusted his glasses slightly and gave a thoughtful glance at the 2019 TroyFest Juried Student Art Exhibition that covers the walls of the Gibson Family Gallery at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

He turned and focused on his own artwork and expressed appreciation for the recognition he has received.

The Charles Henderson High School senior is the recipient of the 2019 Jean Lake Scholarship that is awarded annually by the Troy Arts Council to a graduating senior who has displayed outstanding artistic ability and also one who plans to pursue a career in some art-related field or remain involved in the arts on a personal level.

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Joel Williams, president of the TAC, said the $2,000 Jean Lake Scholarship is awarded annually as a way to perpetuate the memory of the Troy artist and to recognize and support young artists within the community.

“When a person becomes a TAC patron of the arts, they are supporting the arts in our community,” Williams said. “And they are also investing in the futures of some of our outstanding young artists like Avont Anderson through the Jean Lake Scholarship program.”

Anderson said he has always appreciated good art. With the talent he has to capture, not only the images of his subjects, but also their inner essence, art is something that is “just a part of me.”

“I’m passionate about art,” he said, looking at the artwork that makes up his senior art portfolio.
And, that passion is not an acquired trait. It comes from his inner being.

Anderson’s senior portfolio is based on the cynicism and racism that he finds prevalent in today’s world.

Using graphite pens, he is able to capture both the beauty and pathos of his subjects.

“With pen and ink, if you make a mistake, you have to start over,” he said. “Charcoal is good for expressive work and sketches but, with graphite I can be expressive or exact, be very detailed.”

Anderson’s drawing a young woman is soft and fluid, while another of a young man includes the tight detail of dreadlocks.

Pam Smith, retired CHHS art teacher and chair of the TroyFest Student Art Show, said Anderson’s drawing technique is very realistic.

“It is so real that it almost looks like photography,” she said. “I love the way he portrays the emotions in his portraits, therefore, evoking emotions in the viewer. Avont is very talented and I think he will be successful in any area he chooses.”

Anderson has been accepted at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.

His career options are open but he is considering using his talent in the movie or game development industries.