Barton College in Wilson, NC, Hosts The Scholastic Art Awards For Eastern/Central NC Region – Jan. 31, 2016


Barton College in Wilson, NC, will welcome students from across the state to celebrate their creativity at the annual Scholastic Art Awards ceremony scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. This marks the 38th 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 Dr. Betty McCain, former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Following a reception for Gold Key and Silver Key awardees and their families in Wilson Gymnasium on the Barton campus at 1:30pm, on Sunday, there will be an awards presentation for the award recipients beginning at 2pm. The ceremony is open to student Gold Key and Silver Key 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. 31, 2016.

Dr. McCain is one of the state’s most popular speakers. She is known for her quick wit, decisive leadership, and Southern charm. She embodies the enthusiasm and energy that fuels North Carolina’s cultural network. In addition to her duties as Secretary, she has served the state through membership with many cultural and philanthropic organizations including, but not limited to, the Board of Directors of the Agency for Public Telecommunications, the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, the Development Committee of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Board of Visitors, the Information Resources Management Commission, the North Carolina Center for Public Television, and Wilson’s Whirligig Festival. She has also served as a member of the UNC Board of Governors, the North Carolina Art Society, the North Carolina Symphony Society, the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, the North Carolina Preservation Association, Inc., Imagination Station in Wilson, the Arts Council of Wilson, and the Barton College Friends of Hackney Library.

Among the many awards Dr. McCain has received during her professional career are the Distinguished Service Medal from the General Alumni Association of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993, the 1995 Carpathian Award given by NC. Equity for significant contributions to women and families of North Carolina, the Morrison Award presented by the Roanoke Island Historical Association in 1996, the 1996 Distinguished Women of North Carolina Award for Public Service, and the 1996 Most Powerful Women in the Triangle Award presented by Triangle Business Journal. Dr. McCain received the Doctor of Letters Degree, honoris causa, by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1997 and the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. She was presented with the Doctor of Laws Degree, honoris causa, from Barton College in 1999. Dr. McCain was the 2009 recipient of the North Carolina Award, the highest civilian award bestowed by the state for public service. She also was a 2010 inductee into the North Carolina Women’s Hall of Fame. And, the trustees of the North Carolina Humanities Council honored Dr. McCain as the recipient of the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities in 2012.

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.

Dr. Gary Daynes, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Barton College, and Susan Fecho, professor and dean of the School of Visual, Performing, and Communication Arts at Barton, will bring brief remarks during the program. Jodi Aker 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 reviewed by professional art jurors at Barton College during the first week of January. This year, there were 2,897 entries and an additional 99 portfolios from approximately 147 schools presented for judging. Students 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, and art 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 nine art teachers. This year, the exhibition selection jury was composed of college professors, retired public school art teachers, and professional artists.

Three hundred and thirty-four artworks were selected as Gold Key awards for the exhibition as well as 11 Gold Key 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 Parsons School of Design and the Pratt Institute. Also sent to New York will be five American Vision Award (Best of Show) artwork nominees, including: Sadie Cook, University of North Carolina School of the Arts [three artworks], Spence Witmer, South Stokes High School, and Christian Jegbadai, Dudley High School.

There were 419 Silver Key Awards and 10 Silver Key portfolios chosen from the entries submitted. These artworks will be displayed at the Barton Art Galleries.

There were 684 Honorable Mention Awards chosen, as well as 35 Honorable Mention portfolios; the artwork of these award recipients is available 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 Wilson Times Award to Akina Obata, West Carteret High School; the North Carolina Governor’s Student Excellence Award to Meryl Winicov, Mount Tabor High School; the Emerging Vision Award to Mindy Ji, Champion Learning Academy; the Jurors’ Choice Portfolio Award to Sadie Cook, University of North Carolina School of the Arts; the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park Recycled Materials Award to Dalton Ferguson, South Stokes High School; the Edward C. Brown Sculpture Award, which honors the long-time director of the Barton Scholastics program, to Myah Wyse, University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Jerry’s Artarama of Raleigh donated a $200 gift certificate awarded to Sadie Cook, recipient of the Jurors’ Choice Portfolio Award. Blick Art Materials donated a $150 merchandise voucher for classroom materials, given to Olivia Ouyang of Champion Learning Academy, teacher of the Emerging Vision Award recipient, Mindy Ji.

The exhibition of Gold Key and Silver Key artworks will run from Jan. 31 – Feb. 18, 2016, in the Barton Art Galleries located in Case Art Building on campus.

For additional information, please contact Bonnie LoSchiavo, at 252/399-6559 or the Barton Art Galleries at 252/399-6477.


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