Barton To Host The Scholastic Art Awards For The Eastern/Central N.C. Region

"Waiting Room" by John Legg, grade 12, Cardinal Gibbons High School

WILSON, N.C. – As host and regional sponsor for the 31st year, Barton College welcomes The National Scholastic Art Awards for the Eastern/Central North Carolina Region. The featured speaker for the annual awards ceremony will be Dean Johns, Director of Arts Education for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The Scholastic Art Awards, Inc. conducts a visual art awards program for middle and high school students in the United States. Entries from all 50 states are submitted for competition in this nationally renowned program. The Scholastic Art Awards program 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.

Following an ice cream social for awardees and their families in Wilson Gymnasium on the Barton campus at 1:30 p.m., on Sunday, Jan. 25, there will be an awards presentation for the Gold Key recipients beginning at 2:00 p.m. The ceremony is open to student Gold Key Award recipients, their families, and N.C. arts teachers and principals. The Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition will be available for public viewing in the Barton Museum beginning Jan. 26.

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, and the Office of Enrollment Management 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. Debra Pylypiw, chair of The Eastern/Central North Carolina Region of The Scholastic Art Awards Advisory Committee, will present the awards to the student recipients.

Guest speaker Dean Johns received his Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Arts Education from Florida State University, a Master of Education degree in Visual Arts Education from the University of Central Florida, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jewelry and Sculpture from Winthrop University.

He has 42 years of experience in public school arts education, with 32 of those years as a middle and high school teacher. Johns has been active in both the North Carolina Art Education Association and the National Art Education Association, serving in various leadership roles. He also has conducted workshops for artists and teacher throughout the United States on a wide variety of topics including: “Literacy and Arts Education,” “Design Development,” “Understanding the Creative Process,” “Tapestry and Loom Weaving,” “Jewelry Making,” and, most recently, “The Creation of Sculptural Forms Using Cardboard.”

“My creative problem solving can be thought of as having three components: inspiration, imagination, and intellectualization,” shared Johns. “For me, inspiration is the force that begins the act of creation; imagination is the energy that fuels the work in progress; and intellectualization is the process that propels the work through the various stages to completion. My work derives from a conscious manipulation of the formal qualities of art and design, learning by accident, maintaining control, and seeking refinements for the entire creative process. A good piece of work usually evolves from a balance and control of artistic spontaneity and the technical aspects of creating.”

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, approximately 1,800 entries were presented for judging. Students, through their teachers, submitted artwork in a variety of categories including painting, drawing, mixes media, printmaking, sculpture, photography, computer graphics, video, film and animation, environments, graphics, products, ceramics, jewelry and metalsmithing, textile and fiber design, art portfolio, and photography portfolio. Jurors are charged to select entries that they deem especially worthy of recognition.

The Eastern/Central North Carolina Region has an advisory committee composed of eight art teachers. This year the exhibition selection jury was composed of teachers, gallery directors and professional artists.

Two hundred and fifty-one pieces were selected as Gold Key Awards for the exhibition. 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: Holly Fulton, grade 12, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Career Center; Skye Miller, grade 9, West Stokes High School; Eri Miyagi, grade 12, Salem Academy; Jessica Mayes, grade 12, Durham School of the Arts; and Emily Buchanan, grade 12, East Forsyth High School. There also were 311 Silver Key Awards chosen from the works submitted. A list of award recipients is available for viewing on the Barton Art Galleries’ web site at

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 John Legg, grade 12, Cardinal Gibbons High School (“Waiting Room,” pictured above); “The Wilson Daily Times” Award to Tyler Beddard, grade 9, West Forsyth High School; the North Carolina Art Education Association Award to Hannah Jennings, grade 12, R. J. Reynolds High School; the Governor’s Student Excellence Award to Zach Vestal, grade 12, West Forsyth High School; the Emerging Vision Award to Hannah Sloan, grade 7, Arendell Parrott Academy; and the Edward C. Brown Award, which honors the long-time director of the Barton Scholastics Program, to Grayson Schmidt, grade 12, Durham School of the Arts.

The exhibition will run from Jan. 26 – Feb. 8 in the Barton Art Galleries located in Case Art Building. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For additional information, please contact Mark Gordon, at 252-399-6474 or the Barton Art Galleries at 252-399-6477.


Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: