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March 23, 2014

Creative streak: Athens students display artwork at local, state exhibits

City’s seven schools represented with 30 exhibitors

— From leaf art and landscape painting to computer-generated creations and hand-drawn portraits, 30 art students from the Athens school system recently participated in exhibits at Athens State University and the state Capitol.

The city school board honored the exhibitors at its March 13 meeting, bestowing them with commendations for their colorful efforts.

Twelve students from Julian Newman and Athens elementary schools and the city’s intermediate, middle and high schools submitted artwork to the 38th State Superintendent’s Visual Arts Exhibit, which was on display for two weeks in the state Capitol’s Old Supreme Court Library.

Pieces by John Fleming, Carlia Hood, Alaina Taylor, Olivia Butler, Sara Chambers, Morgan Griess, Julie Bruce, Robert Heard, Molly Palmer, Mary McDonald, Emily Risdon and Toni Thomason were among the more than 400 submissions.

Grades K-12 participated in the Montgomery exhibit but only high school pieces were eligible for judging.

McDonald, an Athens High School senior taught by art instructor Katie Blair, received honorable mention in the two-dimensional category for her wind-swept landscape painting, “Long Way Home.”

The 19-year-old, who used acrylics for her beachscape painting, said she is mulling whether to study graphic design in college. McDonald also had artwork displayed earlier this year at the Huntsville Museum of Art.

Other Athens art instructors with students in the state exhibit were Jennifer Hooper, Debra Johnson, Jennifer Rosso and Beverly Bobo.

Taught by Leah Pierce, 18 art students from Cowart and Brookhill elementary schools displayed work for the Leader in Me exhibit held Feb. 6-7 in conjunction with the eponymous symposium at Athens State University.

Brookhill third-graders Darby Barsell, Jada Burks, Amar Fuqua, Sarah Hill, Nathan Price, Ella Richards, Nevada Rynders, Katherine Sontay and Jared Teston crafted portraits of notable African-American leaders during Black History Month.

Cowart third-graders Austin Campbell, Jayden Goliday, Mary Kate Green, Jayla Jones, Marlene Martinez, Soledad Ordonez, Mandy Sides and Taylor Smith focused on a lighthouse theme to reflect the school’s status as a “Lighthouse School.”

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