Exhibit of Excellence is now open

Published 2:20 pm Friday, February 5, 2021

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The Exhibit of Excellence: Suffolk Student Art 2021 is available for viewing through Feb. 26 at the Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave.

This juried exhibit is presented by the Suffolk Art League, with the Suffolk Fine Arts Commission, showcases artwork by students in 10th through 12th grades who live or attend school in Suffolk.

This year, 96 students entered 107 artworks to be juried from King’s Fork, Lakeland and Nansemond River high schools, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Isle of Wight Academy and Southampton Academy.

James Warwick Jones, an artist and educator, selected 84 artworks for the exhibit and 17 of those to receive awards. While judging, he looked for impact, composition, content, style, craftsmanship or command of medium, style and presentation.

“It is always a pleasure to jury art exhibitions and have the opportunity to see the artwork of new artists,” said Jones. “I was impressed with the quality and range of media and style of the artworks submitted, especially during this challenging time of virtual learning and access to materials.”

Best in Show went to Rory Rockwood from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy for his digital photograph named “Splish Splash” of an Oreo falling into a mug of milk.

“The two images are a side and bird’s eye views or sequences of a white liquid splashing out of a white coffee mug, against a black background,” said Jones. “The camera stops the movement of the splash. I liked the simplicity, sharp focus and the concept of this piece.”

First place was awarded to Covonna Bynum from Southampton Academy with a graphite drawing, “Out of Touch.”

“Reminiscent of the cubist painters like Picasso and Braque around 1912,” said Jones. “The suggestion of an outstretched hand at the bottom center suggests out of touch during the pandemic and connecting through the computer screen.”

Second place went to Emma Conrod from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy for her six clay “Hot Now Donuts” laying in a real donut box.

“A real trompe l’oeil piece which does fool our eye and question whether they’re real donuts or art,” said Jones. “This might be considered Pop Art.”

Third place went to Carter Lydon from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy for his digital art, “Calm Synthetic Morning.”

“Along with the falling snow, this creates a silent, peaceful mood, in stark contrast to what we interpret as an artillery piece, which would suggest violence, but standing on its end so that it is also peaceful,” said Jones. “This piece is a pleasure for the eyes and also thought-provoking.”

Honorable Mentions include:

  • Catherine Kreger, “The Thinker/The Copier”, Digital Photography, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Madison Miller, “Hooked”, Cut Paper, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Cierra O’Keefe, “Man in Black”, Paper, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Sydney Shelton, “Drifting”, Digital Photography, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Liz Shiembob, “Space Jam”, Ink, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy

Juror’s Choice includes:

  • Tashawn Battle, “Rhythm Movement 2020”, Ink & Colored Pencil, Lakeland High School
  • Domino Borrell, “Mario”, Graphite, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Faith Cochran, “Camping with the Stars” Crayon/Digital, Kings Fork High School
  • Aaron Dadura, “R.I.P. Nipsey”, Paper, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Parker Forman, “Self-Portrait”, Acrylic, Nansemond River High School
  • Catherine Kreger, “Sweet Little Cotton Candy”, Digital Photography, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Natalie Mahler, “Self-Portrait”, Mixed Media, Nansemond River High School
  • Lisa Starkey, “Boat Full of Ideas”, Acrylic, Kings Fork High School

Due to COVID-19, there was no in-person reception or awards for this exhibit. However, the announcement can be watched at suffolkartleague.com or the Suffolk Art League’s Facebook page.