Several William Byrd High School students who are also students at the Burton Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) have received local and regional art awards in recent days.
Addisyn Ackley is a junior at WBHS/BCAT. Her artwork was selected as one of five winners for display in Roanoke City as part of the 2021 “Color Your Corner” contest. The competition is part of the Roanoke Pedestrian Safety Campaign, led by the City of Roanoke and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to raise awareness of speeding as a pedestrian safety issue and reduce speeding and speed-related crashes. Her artwork will be printed on a vinyl wrap for installation on a traffic signal box at a local street corner. Her instructor at BCAT is Natalie Strum.
Roanoke County Public School art students from all five county high schools and BCAT competed in the 99th annual Southwest Virginia Regional Scholastic Art Competition earlier this spring at the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley in Pulaski.
RCPS students claimed an impressive number of awards in the regional competition, including three American Visions nominees, 11 Gold Keys, 20 Silver Keys, and 29 Honorable Mentions.
Each year, students across the country participate in the Scholastic Art Awards competition. It is the longest running and most prestigious arts award program for students in grades 7-12. Student Gold Key winners who move on to the national competition are eligible for more than $37,000 in scholarships.
On Sunday, March 27, the Fine Arts Center hosted a reception and awards ceremony for the Southwest Virginia Region of the Scholastic Art Awards to celebrate the students, their art teachers, and families. Less than 30 percent of entries at the regional level receive an award, so all awards are quite an accomplishment.
“I’m amazed each year at the incredible artistic talent our students display,” said Dr. Ken Nicely, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools. “We have an amazing group of art teachers and the recognition our students earn each year is a testament to the outstanding level of instruction our teachers provide to their students.”
William Byrd Scholastic Art winners included Addisyn Ackley, Sela Beatty, Jake Markham, and Hunter Muddiman.
Ackley won the Regional Gold Key Award for her painting “In the Corner” and Regional Honorable Mention for “To the Bone” in the Drawing and Illustration category.
Sela Beatty, a senior, won a Silver Key for “Rise and Shine,” and Honorable Mention for “Lil Meow Meow” both in the digital art category. Sara Cubberly is her art teacher.
Jake Markham, also a senior, received Honorable Mention for “Distorted Self-Portrait” in the mixed media category. His instructor is Natalie Strum.
Hunter Muddiman, another senior, won the Gold Key Award for “Forgotten Symphony” in the mixed media category and a Silver Key for “Shores of Observation” in the architectural and industrial drawing category. His instructor is Natalie Strum.
Two students from Southwest Virginia were honored with Gold Medals at the national level: Trent Hollandsworth from Radford High School, and Mary Wissinger from Cave Spring Middle School.
Emalyn Sylvester-Johnson (Cave Spring) has been named as a Gold Medal and American Visions Medal winner in the Scholastic Art national competition. The American Visions Medal is the highest honor that can be given to a student and was bestowed upon her for her work entitled “Beach Trip from a Distance” She has been invited to attend a national ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
“To receive a Gold Medal at the national level is an amazing achievement and acknowledges a student’s originality, technical skill, or personal vision,” said Sara Cubberley, RCPS supervisor of art.
Photos courtesy of Roanoke County Public Schools.