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Youth Art Month at WMA receives record-breaking submissions, awards winners

The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) opens its annual Youth Art Month exhibition this month, showcasing 173 works of art on view, selected from its record-breaking total of 813 submissions. Selected works represent students from 30 schools, including public, private, homeschool, and private art instructors. 

Held every March, Youth Art Month is a month-long celebration of student artists, emphasizing the value of art and art education for all children, and encourages the public to support quality school art programs. The exhibition will be on view until Friday, March 31st.

This year, Wiregrass Museum of Art Awards, which will be exhibited for a year in WMA’s Education Gallery, were given to Deacon Kreger (Houston Academy, first grade), Sharon Chen (Houston Academy, fifth grade), Liam G. Baxter (Homeschool, seventh grade), and Haylee Ballard (Enterprise High School, tenth grade). 

The Youth Art Month Award went to Ellary Phillips (Providence Christian School, second grade), whose work will be exhibited in a sponsor’s office. The Houston County Award was given to Joanne Marie Tolbert (Rehobeth Elementary School, kindergarten), and the City of Dothan Award was given to Nate Clark (Kelly Springs Elementary School, third grade); each work will be exhibited in the respective Houston County and City of Dothan administrative buildings. 

The 2nd Congressional Award was given to Elle Salter (Providence Christian School, 12th grade) whose work “Inflation” will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol alongside artwork from other contest winners nationwide. Winning pieces from each congressional district are also considered for selection as the National Congressional Art Competition winner. Runners-up include Pierce Bailey (Enterprise High School, 11th grade), Anaya Reddy (Houston Academy, 11th grade), Alex Hughes (Providence Christian School, 12th grade) and Francis Gamble (Carroll High School, 12th grade).

“Another record-breaking year of submissions illustrates the importance of art in our area schools. Students of the Wiregrass are eager to create and, thanks to our incredible area educators, they have the support and resources to do so. We are proud to present their work and to encourage their creativity and innovation,” said WMA education director Brook McGinnis.

WMA welcomed over 500 attending students, families, and friends at the exhibition opening on February 28th, and cash prizes were awarded to all category winners. Additionally, winning students will be participating in the Youth Art Month Proclamation, led by Mayor Mark Saliba at the Dothan City Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 7th at 10:00am in the City’s chambers.

Youth Art Month is sponsored by: The Caring Foundation – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Publix Super Markets Charities, Dothan Pediatric Dentistry – Dr. Kristen Crowder and Dr. John Flowers, and the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce.

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