By Curt Yeomans
Sixteen students, who are winners in the Clayton County Public Schools' second annual All-County Art Competition, were feted for their artistic abilities, during a reception at the school system's Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.
The winners ranged in grade level from kindergarten, through high school. The art, itself, ranged from a drawing of one student's family trip to Six Flags, to paintings of people standing together, to a ceramic bowl. There was even a painting of a Japanese woman, clutching a samurai sword, with her face painted half white, and half red, black and yellow.
The artwork is often full of vibrant colors. Some were done with crayons on small pieces of paper, while others required a painter's brush, a canvas to paint on, and an easel to hold the canvas.
"We are so, so proud of these talented students for their outstanding artistic abilities," said Kay Sledge, Director of Fine Arts for the school system.
"In speaking with many of these students, I noticed that, in addition to their artistic abilities, they were also very articulate, intelligent, and well-spoken. It is our pleasure to have them in our school system," Sledge said.
Edmonds Elementary School art Teacher Natachia Pope said the district holds the competition every year to put the spotlight on the role art plays in the lives of students. Pope is also the lead art teacher for all elementary schools in the district, and is the organizer of the art competition.
"We want to show off the talents of our students and teachers, and the wonderful products of their hard work and creativity," Pope said. "We have to put an emphasis on how important art is to these students."
The art is on display in a miniature gallery, in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center, which is located at 2530 Mt. Zion Parkway, in Jonesboro.
The winners in the high school category are: Mundy's Mill High School student Tolupe Yemi-Sofumade (first place); Fine Arts Magnet High School student Lindsey Watters (second place); Riverdale High School student Tam Nguyen (third-place), and Lovejoy High School student Sana Malik (honorable mention).
The winners in the middle school category are: Pointe South Middle School student Isaiah Korpanya (first place); Mundy's Mill Middle School students Renell Yonkedeh (second place) and Josue Zavaleta (third place), and Pointe South Middle School student Asha Gooden (honorable mention).
The winners in the elementary school, grades 3-5 category are: Thurgood Marshall Elementary School student Angela Huynh (first place); Lee Street Elementary School student Kaitlyn Robertson (second place); Huie Elementary School student Kendrick Balkom (third place); B.C. Haynie Elementary School student Alexis Render (honorable mention), and Pointe South Elementary School student Christina Simmons (honorable mention).
The winners in the elementary school, grades K-2 category are: Kemp Primary School students Akira Trumpet (first place) and Christion Tobias (second place), and Callaway Elementary School student Patience Stuckey (third place).
The winning students received bags filled with art supplies, such as colored pencils and drawing pads, as rewards for creating their winning work. Their art teachers also received gifts in the form of art supplies, such as easels, to use in their classrooms.
"Your work is wonderful, and we're seeing the fruits of your labors today in the form of this artwork," Sledge told the teachers at the reception.
Some of winners in the competition said they were both excited and nervous. Isaiah Korpanya, 11, an eighth-grader at Pointe South Middle School, said he was nervous as reception guests looked at the artwork, including his first-place-winning painting of an African mother and child. "I've got butterflies in my stomach right now, because I've never won anything before," he said.
Patience Stuckey, 7, said she was happy about her award for her drawing of her family's trip to Six Flags last summer. "It feels really good -- it's awesome," she said. "I've never really been a top art award winner before, but I draw all the time."