The Herald Bulletin

March 10, 2014

Art show overcomes financial, weather hurdles

Newcomer wins Best in Show at annual Student Art Exhibit

By Kelly Dickey The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — A shortage of funds, canceled classes and a predicted snowstorm couldn’t stop it.

The Art Association of Madison County’s 15th annual Student Art Exhibit opened — narrowly — without a hitch March 2.

Almost 150 high school students’ 258 pieces of artwork are displayed at the art show in Mounds Mall until Friday.

The exhibit opened with awards, where Anderson High School junior Courtney Simpson won Best of Show with her “Morning Toast” painting. The artwork depicted a piece of toast with a silver spoon and metal pitcher.

“I think, as an artist, you know for one, how hard it is to do metal, and also to get the reflection,” exhibit co-coordinator Theresa Lucas said. “She nailed it perfectly.”

Lucas said it was Simpson’s first time in the art show, and only a few first-timers have ever won Best in Show. Simpson also won first place in painting with her piece “Avocado.”

The Art Association gave more than 50 awards in seven categories: painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, photography and multimedia.

Debriana Love got first in ceramics, Madeline Harris placed first in drawing, Sarah Dixon received first in jewelry, Abby Manwell got first in multimedia, Karley Fridley got first in photography and Brandon Burkett received first in sculpture.

Kara Hampton, who won Best of Show in 2009 and 2011 and is the only student to win twice, judged the exhibit.

After initially scrambling for funds, the Art Association was able to give away about $1,700 in prizes. The organization didn’t receive a grant like it has in years past to help pay for prizes and other costs for the show, causing organizers to wonder if they would be able to have the exhibit.

Lucas said that up until Feb. 27, three days before opening day, she worried if they’d have enough prize money. Money from organizations and private donors flooded in at the last minute.

“It was down to the wire,” she said. “It just amazed me how the community rallied together and supported the show.”

Weather affected the show, too.

There were less ceramic and jewelry entries this year, likely due to school being canceled from snow and freezing temperatures, Lucas said. The show received a record 90 entries for drawing though, likely because unlike pottery, teens could work on it from home.

A snowstorm predicted to hit Anderson on March 2 also worried organizers for the show’s opening day. Instead of the expected sleet and ice, the area received just a little bit of snow.

But despite canceled classes and the hype around the nonexistent storm, Lucas considers herself victorious.

“The weather was trying to get rid of the show,” she said, “but I wasn’t going to let it.”

The Student Art Exhibit is open at the Mounds Mall, next to Finish Line, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, when the show will conclude.

Like Kelly Dickey on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KellyD_THB, or call 640-4805.

Winners Best in Show: Courtney Simpson Ceramics: Debriana Love, first place; Haley Boyland, second place Drawing: Madeline Harris, first place; Sam Pickett, second place; Alex Foley, third place; and Holly Webb, fourth place Jewelry: Sarah Dixon, first place Multimedia: Abby Manwell, first place; Madison Cox, second place Painting: Courtney Simpson, first place; Hanna Bell, second place Photography: Karley Fridley, first place; Mara Semon, second place Sculpture: Brandon Burkett, first place; Alana Weber, second place