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Be like the COOL KIDS!

2023 was another record-breaking year for Youth Art Month at the Wiregrass Museum of Art. We received 813 submissions from across 5 counties and over 40 organizations, including public and private schools, homeschooled students, and students from private art studios! While we would have loved to display all 813 works into the exhibition, we only have so much wall space. In the end, were able to squeeze 173 selected works (thanks to our amazing jurors) into the Main Gallery. We had around 500 people in attendance for our opening reception on February 28th to celebrate the work of these INCREDIBLE young artists.

While we absolutely believe that every student with a work in the Youth Art Month Exhibition is a winner, we would like to recognize our 12 Youth Art Month award winning students!

First up: the Wiregrass Museum of Art Awards.  Winners will have their work on display in the education gallery at WMA for the next year. We have winners in four grade categories:

  • The winner for PreK-2nd grade is Deacon Kreger a 1st Grade Student at Houston Academy.
  • The winner for 3rd – 6th grade is Sharon Chen, a 5th Grade student at Houston Academy.
  • The winner for Middle School is Liam Baxter, a 7th grade homeschooler, and student at the Green House Art Studio.
  • And the winner for High School is Haylee Ballard, a 10th grade student at Enterprise High School.

The Youth Art Month Award winning work will be on display at Dothan Pediatric Dentistry – Dr. Kristen Crowder and Dr. John Flowers, for the next year. The winner of the Youth Art Month Award is Ellary Phillips, a 2nd grade student at Providence Christian School

The City of Dothan Award winning work will remain on display outside of the mayor’s office for the next year. The winner of the City of Dothan award is Nate Clark, a 3rd grade student at Kelly Springs Elementary School.

The Houston County Award will remain on display at the Houston County Commission office for the next year. The winner of the Houston County Award is Joann Marie Tolbert, a Kindergartener at Rehobeth Elementary School.

Lastly, each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.  Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol. We are honored to host this competition here at the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

The winner of the 2nd Congressional Award for 2023 is Elle Salter, a 12th grade student from Providence Christian School!

We would also like to recognize the four runners up whose work will be displayed in one of Representative Barry Moore’s state offices. The runners up are:

  • Pierce Bailey, an 11th Grade student from Enterprise High School
  • Francis Gamble, a 12th Grade Student from Carroll High School
  • Alex Hughes, a 12th Grade Student from Providence Christian School
  • And Ananya Reddy, an 11th Grade Student from Houston Academy














I would also like to take a moment to thank our sponsors whose generosity make Youth Art Month possible:

  • The Caring Foundation – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
  • Publix Super Markets Charities
  • Dothan Pediatric Dentistry – Dr. Kristen Crowder and Dr. John Flowers
  • Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce

Lastly, please allow me to communicate my most sincere gratitude to all of our area educators who support the arts in their schools and classrooms. They are making the magic happen everyday in their classrooms and Youth Art Month would not be possible without them!

So, will your students be like the cool kids and submit their work to Youth Art Month 2024? I certainly hope so! We can’t wait to see what they create!