Local students shine at Myrtle Beach art contest

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014

Photo by Eileen Keithly/For the Times Lowcountry Prep School teacher Kathy Wynn Patrick joined sophomore Leo Gibson at the exhibit. Gibson’s oil painting is titled “The Fight.”


Selecting one “Best in Show” from a field of 77 outstanding pieces of high school art turned out to be a challenging task for judge Reynier Llanes.

“I was clearly not expecting this much exceptional work. My job was very tough,” said Llanes, an acclaimed Cuban-born young artist who now lives in Charleston.

The 13th annual Horry Georgetown County High School Juried Art Exhibit opened to the public on Sunday afternoon with a reception and awards ceremony at the Franklin G. Burroughs - Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach.

The exhibit continues through April 20.

The Grace Martin Matlock Education Gallery was filled with a diverse array of media, as well as abstract styles.

A crowd of over 200 worked slowly and methodically through the exhibit, taking in all the pieces.

The museum received over 350 submissions for this year’s exhibit, and the selection committee selected 77 works of art to be judged by Llanes.

Pieces from three Georgetown County high schools and 10 Horry County high schools were represented in the final exhibit.

Museum curator Elizabeth Miller told the student artists at the awards ceremony, “You were all winners the moment your art was selected for this exhibit.”

In welcoming remarks, museum executive director Patricia Goodwin expressed gratitude to the student artists, their families, the exhibit’s sponsor, and Llanes. “To have someone as talented as Reynier judge this exhibit is unbelievable.”

Goodwin noted the level of the high school art submitted has improved each year. “We are so honored to be able to give these students an opportunity to display their art work in a professional setting,” she said. “It does so much for them.”

Before handing out awards, Llanes explained how he judged the students’ work. “For me, as a judge, there must be a connection between the artist and the artwork. There must be a flow of theme, technique and presentation. The work must tell a story, and it must show diversity and be filled with culture.”

Victoria Locklear, a student at The Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology in Myrtle Beach, was awarded “Best in Show” with her mixed-media folk art -- “The Babel.” Inspired by gospel singing and southern religion, Victoria explained, “I was inspired by elements that play a big role where I come from.”

Anxious artists awaited Llanes’ announcement of the following awards:

Two-dimensional art: first, Caroline Silverman; second, Thomas Hickman; third, Anna-Maria Riley; honorable mention, Erin Ryan, Catherine Meeks, Aurora Downey and Ethan Johnson.

Three-dimensional art: first, Nichelle Dowell; second, Alexis Powell; third, Carmen Arias; honorable mention, Tori Prough, Daniel Pieterse, Gabrielle Moore, and Gal Koretzky.

Sarah Green, a 15-year-old freshman at the Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences, was thrilled to have her art exhibited at the museum.

Beaming from ear to ear, Green said, “Seeing my work hanging in this gallery inspires me to become a better artist.”

Leo Gibson of Lowcountry Prep School said, “My mom is a great artist, and hopefully this will make her proud.” Amaan Funnye, a student at Georgetown High School, and Stellings Lee, a senior at Lowcountry Prep, had their work exhibited as well.

“Each year I am amazed with the submissions we receive, but this year I was blown away with the number of museum-worthy pieces of art work that were submitted,” said Arielle Fatuova, the museum’s children’s education coordinator.

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