Visual artists at UNCSA take top honors at Scholastic Arts regional competition

High school visual artists at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts earned 32 awards at the regional competition of Scholastic Art Awards, including two of the most revered awards, the Juror’s Choice Portfolio Award and the American Visions Nomination, both won by Tess Sichitiu from Cary, N.C.

Awards were presented in January at Barton College in Wilson, N.C., where the gold and silver key artworks are on exhibit until Feb. 24. Barton College annually hosts the Eastern/Central Regional District in North Carolina, representing 62 counties from the Piedmont to the coast.

Tess Sichitui

Artwork by Tess Sichitiu

Sichitiu also won four gold keys, one silver key and four honorable mentions. Her American Visions-nominated work, “Coming Home,” will be exhibited in New York City in June.

“This is a tremendous honor for Tess,” said Will Taylor, director of the Visual Arts Program in UNCSA’s School of Design and Production (D&P). “We are extremely proud of our students, whose hard work and commitment to their craft has been recognized by Scholastic Art Awards in our large and highly competitive region of the state.”

Emma Ferry

Artwork by Emma Ferry

Other winners include:

Jerdahn Campbell of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. – three gold keys, one silver key and one honorable mention;

Jack Covitz of Raleigh – one honorable mention;

Emma Ferry of Mount Airy, N.C. – one gold key and two honorable mentions;

Corinne Gregson of Fuquay-Varina – one gold key and one honorable mention;

Nicolette See of Catawba, N.C. – three gold keys, three silver keys and four honorable mentions.

Nicolette See

Artwork by Nicolette See

“Congratulations to all of the students, and to Will Taylor and his colleagues on the faculty, Elizabeth Alexander and Pam Griffin,” said Dean of D&P Michael Kelley. “Year after year, our visual artists continue to excel at the Scholastic Art competition. That is testimony to the hard work, discipline and dedicated mentoring that are hallmarks of the Visual Arts Program.”

Entries from all 50 states are submitted in the nationally renowned Scholastic Art Awards program. Created for middle and high school students, the program is designed to encourage student achievement, to recognize and applaud art teachers and to emphasize the importance of the visual arts in the school curriculum. Students from 131 schools entered the regional competition, submitting 3,445 works in categories including architecture, comic art, ceramics & glass, digital art, product design, drawing, fashion, film & animation, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video games. An additional 98 portfolios were submitted.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s most prestigious recognition program for artists and writers, which identified the early promise of Richard Avedon, Joyce Maynard, Tom Otterness, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates, Andy Warhol and Zac Posen.

UNCSA’s Visual Arts Program enrolls high school juniors and seniors who commit to a rigorous course of study in design, drawing, sculpture and art history.

Graduates of the Visual Arts Program have continued to pursue their interest in the fine arts at universities such as Virginia Commonwealth, Kansas City Art Institute, Maryland Institute College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, School of Art Institute of Chicago, Ringling College of Art and Design, School of the Museum of Fine Art - Boston and College for Creative Studies.

Alumni have enjoyed successful careers in photography, graphic design, painting, animation, sculpture, installation art, makeup artistry and arts education. World-renowned photographer, documentary filmmaker, and director David LaChapelle, an alumnus of the Visual Arts Program, was the speaker for UNCSA’s high school commencement in 2015.

by Lauren Whitaker

February 7, 2017