One-hundred-one pieces of art have been entered in this year’s Youth Art Expo representing seven local schools — Elkin High, East Wilkes High, Surry Central High, East Wilkes Middle, Elkin Elementary, Dobson Elementary and Rockford Elementary. It is the sixth year the Foothills Arts Council, 129 Church St., Elkin, has held the competition for tri-county area students.
“I was disappointed that three of the schools that routinely enter — Central Middle, Starmount Middle and Starmount High — were unable to participate this year. But despite that, the number of entries is great and the art points to some good talent growing here,” Leighanne Martin Wright, arts council executive director, said.
The opening reception will be Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments until 7 p.m. Awards and prizes will be given out at 6 p.m.
Local artist Rosy Beverley served as the judge for the contest this year.
“I so enjoyed seeing the work of these kids,” she said. “Every single one has merit and I hope they all continue to pursue art and love it as much as I loved seeing their work.”
She said choosing winners was not an easy task. The art is divided into four categories — high school, middle school, upper elementary and lower elementary. Each category has a first-, second- and third-place winner. Beverley also awarded a few honorable mentions.
“I am happy they had the experience of art,” she said.
The Youth Art Expo was started in 2011 by past arts council president and retired art teacher, Jane Spencer Dale. As an extra thank you to the art teachers this year, the arts council will have a $100 cash giveaway at the reception.
“We are asking all the art teachers who attend the reception to put their name in a hat and then we will draw out a name,” Wright said. “I wish we could give them all money to help with their art supplies, but this will hopefully be the next best thing.”
The contest is open to all the schools in the tri-county area. Information is mailed out to the art teachers in early October with reminders sent via email. The arts council has volunteers who pick up and return the artwork to the schools.
“I wish all the schools would participate,” Wright said. “Usually we have between 100 to 125 entries with typically 10 schools. If we get more schools, we may have to start limiting the number of entries, but that would be a great problem to have.”