WILSON, N.C. — Barton College will welcome students from across the state to celebrate their creativity at the annual Scholastic Art Awards ceremony scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 29. This marks the 34th year that Barton College has served as host and regional sponsor for the National Scholastic Art Awards for the Eastern/Central North Carolina Region. The featured speaker for the awards ceremony is John W. Coffey, Deputy Director for Art and Curator of American and Modern Art for the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Following an ice cream social for Gold Key awardees and their families in Wilson Gymnasium on the Barton campus at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, there will be an awards presentation for the award recipients beginning at 2 p.m. The ceremony is open to student Gold Key Award recipients, their families, and North Carolina arts teachers and principals. The Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition will be available for public viewing in the Barton Art Galleries beginning Jan. 30.

A native of Raleigh, Coffey joined the staff of the North Carolina Museum of Art in 1988. As Curator of American and Modern Art, he has overseen the development of the NCMA’s collections of American and modern art, as well as the Museum’s smaller collection of Jewish ceremonial art. Coffey has organized numerous temporary exhibitions, including “Making Faces: Self-Portraits by Alex Katz” (1990), “Louis Rémy Mignot: A Southern Painter Abroad” (1996), and “Color, Myth, and Music: Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Synchromism” (2001). (The Mignot and Macdonald-Wright exhibitions were supported by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and traveled to major national venues.)  From 1994-1997, Coffey served as the statewide director of the Israel/North Carolina Cultural Exchange. He is the staff liaison to the Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery.

In addition to his work as a curator, Coffey now serves as Deputy Director for Art with primary responsibility for the Curatorial, Conservation, and Registration Departments, and the Art Reference Library. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor of art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Coffey received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1976) and a Master of Arts degree from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art (1978). Prior to joining the North Carolina Museum of Art, he served as acting director of the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass. (1979-80); and curator of collections of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine (1980-88).

Entries from all 50 states are submitted for competition in the nationally renowned Scholastic Art Awards program. The program, created for middle and high school students, is designed to encourage student achievement, to recognize and applaud our fine art teachers and to emphasize the importance of the visual arts in the school curriculum. Barton College is proud to host the Eastern/Central Regional District in North Carolina, representing 62 counties from the piedmont to the coast.

Contributors to the program include the Visual Arts Department of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the Wilson Chamber of Commerce, Stan Corbett of Corbett Reproductions, Framer’s Alley of Elm City, Blick Art Materials, Jerry’s Artarama, and the Offices of Admissions and Institutional Advancement at Barton College.

Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College, and Mark F. Gordon, director of The Eastern/Central North Carolina Region of The Scholastic Art Awards Program, will bring brief remarks during the program. Lisa H. Peszko of the Scholastic Art Awards Regional Teacher Advisory Committee, will present special awards to student recipients.

The Scholastic Art Awards entries for the Eastern/Central North Carolina Region are received at Barton College during the first week of January. This year, there were 2,142 artwork entries and an additional 76 portfolios from 130 schools presented for judging. Students, through their teachers, submitted artwork in a variety of categories, including: architecture, comic art, ceramics & glass, digital art, product design, drawing, fashion, film & animation, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video games, art portfolio, and photography portfolio. Jurors are charged to select entries that they consider especially worthy of recognition.

The Eastern/Central North Carolina Region has an advisory committee composed of eleven art teachers. This year, the exhibition selection jury was composed of retired teachers, college professors, museum educators, and professional artists.

Two hundred and fourteen artworks were selected as Gold Key Awards for the exhibition as well as nine portfolios. Digital images of these finalist art works will be sent to New York City for judging against other regional winners for the national exhibition held in June at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C. Also sent to New York will be the works of five American Vision Award (Best of Show) nominees, including: Dana Di Gioia, grade 12, Eugene Ashley High School; Ming Wong, grade 12, Southeast Raleigh High School; Allison Tate, grade 12, Timberlyne Day School; Meredith Miller, grade 11, Western Alamance High School; and Victor Foster, grade 12, White Oak High School.

There also were 348 Silver Key Awards and 362 Honorable Mention Awards chosen from the individual entries submitted. A list of award recipients and images of their artwork is available on the Barton Art Galleries’ web site at http://www.barton.edu/scholastics.

From the Gold Key artworks, the jury also selected works for additional regional awards to be presented at the ceremony including the Barton College Award to: Katie Williamson, grade 12, Eugene Ashley High School; “The Wilson Times” Award to Samantha Lewis, grade 11, Riverside High School; the North Carolina Art Education Association Award to Rachel Dutcher, grade 8, Zebulon G.T. Magnet Middle School; the Governor’s Student Achievement Award to Meredith Miller, grade 11, Western Alamance High School; the Emerging Vision Award to Victoria Newberry, grade 8, Arendell Parrott Academy; Jurors’ Choice Portfolio to Sarah Parker, grade 12, Currituck County High School; and the Edward C. Brown Award, which honors the long-time director of the Barton Scholastics Program, to Joshua O’Taylor, grade 11, William G. Enloe High School.

Blick Art Materials donated a $200 merchandise voucher for classroom materials, given to Judy Johnson of Arendell Parott Academy, teacher of the Emerging Vision Award recipient. Jerry’s Artarama in Raleigh donated a $200 gift certificate awarded to Sarah Parker, recipient of the Jurors’ Choice Portfolio Award.

The exhibition will run from Jan. 30 – Feb. 23 in the Barton Art Galleries located in Case Art Building. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and by special appointment. For additional information, please contact Mark Gordon, at 252-399-6474 or the Barton Art Galleries at 252-399-6477.

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Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.