Youth Art Month at WMA sees high student participation, awards winners

The Wiregrass Museum of Art opened its annual Youth Art Month exhibition this month, selecting 151 works of art to display from its record-breaking total of 728 submissions. Selected works represent students from 31 schools, including Dothan City Schools, Houston County Schools, Dale County Schools, Coffee County Schools, private, and homeschool. Held every March, Youth Art Month is a month-long celebration of student artists, and the exhibition emphasizes the value of art and art education for all children and encourages the public to support quality school art programs.

This year, Wiregrass Museum of Art Awards, which will be exhibited for a year in WMA’s Education Gallery, were given to Townes Fuller (Providence Christian School, 2nd grade), Lily Barnes (Rehobeth Elementary School, 3rd grade), Merrill Scarborough (Houston Academy, 8th grade), and Maia Ness (Enterprise High School, 11th grade).

The Youth Art Month Award went to Kelsey Anne McGowan (Carroll High School, 10th grade), whose work will be exhibited in a sponsor’s office. The Houston County Award was given to Talajiah Wesley (Ashford Elementary, 2nd grade), and the City of Dothan Award was given to Sophia Marie Huff (Ridgecrest Christian School, 10th grade); each work will be exhibited in the respective Houston County and City of Dothan administrative buildings.

The 2nd Congressional Award was given to Autumn Ann Clemons, a senior from Daleville High School, whose painting “Waiting for Results” 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 Julissa DeJesus (Enterprise High School, 10th Grade), Madelyn Dunn (Enterprise High School, 11th grade), and Scout Smith (Providence Christian School, 10th grade).

“I was very impressed not only with the number of submissions but also with the quality of the work submitted. It is clear that art is flourishing in the Wiregrass thanks to consistent art instruction in area classrooms and support from parents, instructors, and administrators. We are so thankful that these gifted young people shared their work with us,” said WMA education director Brook McGinnis.

WMA welcomed students, families, and friends at the exhibition opening on March 1st, and cash prizes were awarded to all category winners. Additionally, winning students participated in the Youth Art Month Proclamation, led by Mayor Mark Saliba at the Dothan City Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 22nd 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.

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.

Terms and Conditions

The Wiregrass Museum of Art reserves the right to photograph and reproduce chosen works publication, publicity, and educational purposes. Participation in this exhibition shall be an agreement on the part of the artist to these conditions. The museum reserves the right to exclude works submitted without appropriate preparation (documentation, mounting hardware, suitable frame/mat, etc.), or which are damaged or incomplete. The museum is not responsible for the safekeeping of any works left in its care ninety (90) days after the close of the exhibition.

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Mask Policy

WMA asks that all campers ages 5 and up wear a mask during their museum visit, including classes and camps. If you don’t have a mask, we can provide one for you. Exceptions can be made for those with documented respiratory or sensory issues. We thank you for protecting your fellow visitors and our staff!

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