By Roger Walk
Encouraging young art students to show their talents and potential early in their lives is a prime objective for the teachers of the arts programs at Chesterfield’s L.C. Bird High School. Five of the 26 art pieces submitted by Bird were awarded by “Scholastic Art Magazine’s national Art and Writing” competition.
Sydney Primm and John Branch won “gold,” Nhien Bach and Kenneth Atkins “silver,” and Jazim Pelaez, an honorable mention award, for their work. The work of the gold and silver winners will be displayed to an invited audience at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on March 1; all award winning works will then be displayed to the public online on VMFA’s website www.vmfa.state.va.us.
The Scholastic Art and Writing Competition is held annually and receives submissions from middle and high schools all over the country. This year there were almost 3,500 submissions from schools in Chesterfield and the other eight localities in the Richmond region. A list of all award winners of this program was published by the Village News last week. The Gold and Silver Key award winning submissions will also compete in a nationwide competition later in the spring.
The students whose art work has been recognized with awards are part of the L.C. Bird High School’s art program. Every year more than 400 students have the opportunity to practice their art talent at L.C. Bird High School. Following a suggestion of Chesterfield’s art school supervisors, 3D-Studio teacher Mary Jo Gearles (crafts) and Kimberley Gianopoulos (visual arts) have made the Scholastic Art Competition part of their teaching and coaching activities.
“This is a good way to grow our kids through the competition with other regional arts students,” Ms. Gianopoulos said. The art teachers at L.C. Bird provide the guidance and support for their students to develop their arts talents to a level that brings them recognition beyond the walls of the school.