The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ national office in New York City is dedicated to growing and supporting our Affiliate Partners across the country. Our Affiliate Partners are doing great work in their communities, and we love hearing about their outreach efforts, their students, and their programs. This month, we shine the spotlight on Barton College which manages the Eastern/Central North Carolina Art Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Here’s what Barton College had to say about Awards activity in their region:
Barton College of Wilson, NC, has been an art affiliate for the Scholastic Awards for 39 years. Every January, the regional exhibition of Gold Key and Silver Key artworks fills four campus galleries from floor to ceiling with innovative student artworks—an annual campus highlight. In 2017, more than 500 Gold and Silver Keys were chosen from more than 3,500 entries.
The College’s region includes 62 counties in the Eastern-Central half of our state:
Alamance; Beaufort; Bertie; Bladen; Brunswick; Camden; Carteret; Caswell; Chatham; Chowan; Columbus; Craven; Cumberland; Currituck; Dare; Davidson; Duplin; Durham; Edgecombe; Forsyth; Franklin; Gates; Granville; Greene; Guilford; Halifax; Harnett; Hertford; Hoke; Hyde; Johnston; Jones; Lee; Lenoir; Martin; Moore; Montgomery; Nash; New Hanover; Northampton; Onslow; Orange; Pamlico; Pasquotank; Pender; Perquimans; Person; Pitt; Randolph; Richmond; Robeson; Rockingham; Sampson; Scotland; Stokes; Tyrell; Vance; Wake; Warren; Washington; Wayne; and Wilson.
The ten-member Regional Teacher Advisory Committee meets in October to help guide the regional program. At this meeting, suggestions are made to improve our exhibition and ceremony, expand regional communication with teachers, parents, and students, and to choose each year’s jurors. The roster of jurors reflects the wealth of professional resources in our area. The jury, featuring a different slate of reviewers yearly, includes museum curators, retired K-12 art educators, collectors, college and university professors, and artists working in a variety of media. Jurying is an exhilarating process.
Barton’s Gallery Management students help in all aspects of hosting the Awards. These undergraduates meet high school and middle school art teachers as they deliver art, contribute graphic design in assembling the regional online catalogue, install the exhibition, and help host the awards ceremony, which coincides with the exhibition opening. Featured speakers have included prominent artists, a museum director, statewide arts administrators, an Alliance staffer, and a nationally–syndicated cartoonist. Student awardees each ascend the stage and stand at the podium to be recognized.
During the regional exhibition, Barton hosts Art Days in Wilson, bringing teachers together to share lesson plans, project ideas, and teaching strategies. Teachers visit local art celebrities, most notably Wilson County’s Vollis Simpson, the late legendary maker of monumental steel whirligigs and official State Folk Artist of North Carolina.
An important statewide event, featuring the Western Region, Mid-Carolina Region, and the Eastern/Central Region, is an April ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh to recognize the three affiliates’ selections for the Governor’s Student Excellence Awards, as well as North Carolina national Gold and Silver Medal awardees. Families, teachers, and principals have the opportunity to experience, for a few hours, the Mansion’s Southern decorative charm. Presenters at this event have included two state First Ladies and one First Gentleman, Secretary of Cultural Resources, and Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Four student works, three in art and one in writing, are subsequently shown in the atrium of the North Carolina Legislative Office Building.
In addition to the American Visions nominees, our regional jurors choose special awards: Emerging Visions Award for middle school artwork; Edward E. Brown Sculpture Award; Vollis Simpson Recycled Materials Award; and The North Carolina Art Education Association Award. Jerry’s Artarama of Raleigh sponsors The Jurors’ Portfolio Award, which includes a gift certificate for art supplies. The Wilson Times Award, typically an achromatic composition suitable for publication, is sponsored by our town’s family-owned independent local newspaper, which prints a full-page article featuring student artwork and promoting the exhibition.
Families gather during the gallery opening to celebrate the proud moment; student creativity is recognized by peers, teachers, and families. In many cases, generations are brought together, fostering understanding of our youth and their creative vision.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are proud to work with organizations like Barton College to help talented students receive recognition for their creative efforts. By partnering together, Barton College and the Scholastic Awards give our youth the support they need to become lasting members of their art and writing communities.
To learn more about Barton College’s Scholastic Awards program, click on an image below to open PDFs of their ceremony program or to view more information about the region.