12th District high school art show at Waterworks through May 25
SALISBURY – Rep. Mel Watt said he’s glad he doesn’t have to judge the annual art contest that’s held in his district.
The decision would be difficult, Watt said. “I’m a big art fan myself.”
The 12th Congressional District High School Art Competition winners were announced Saturday in Salisbury.
For the first time, Waterworks Visual Art Center hosted the competition, which moves to different locations in the district each year.
Anne Scott Clement, Waterworks executive director, said 27 high school students took part in this year’s competition, representing Rowan, Mecklenburg and Forsyth counties.
Two of the artists, Shelby Davis and Tiffany Meadows, are students at North Rowan High School. Neither of them attended the reception held to honor contestants.
The winner of the competition was Jacorian Marble, of Harding University High School in Charlotte, for the piece “Visions.” Marble was also absent from the reception.
Clement said Marble’s work will be framed in Salisbury by Fine Frame Gallery, then transported to Washington, D.C., the following week.
For the next year, Marble’s artwork will be displayed in a corridor leading to the U.S. Capitol building, along with other winners of the nationwide Congressional Art Competition, for the next year.
The art of second- and third-place winners Blen Ryan and Natalya Nimitz will go on display in Watt’s offices in the district, according to a staff member.
Gordon C. James, a professional artist and art educator, was one of the judges of this year’s competition.
“It was difficult to make a decision because of the diversity of the works,” James said. “It’s difficult to compare them one to another.”
“We had to figure what made each individual work strong, that the artist did their best at achieving their goal,” James said.
Clement said that Waterworks will host the remaining artists’ works through May 25.
“We love having their artwork here, and exposing their artwork to our community,” Clement said.
Watt, a Democrat now in his 20th year in office, said this year’s competition showed “plenty of talent.”
Nimitz, a senior at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, talked briefly to Watt as the congressman looked at the entries.
She used her mother, Ardrell Nimitz, as a model for her photograph, entitled “Strands of Wrath.”
The black-and-white photo depicts a woman behind a tangled web of interconnected threads, which Natalya Nimitz said depict the effects of anger.
“Wrath can be anything,” Natalya Nimitz said. “It can be anger, stress.”
Jamil Metcalf, a student at Harding University High School, said he used charcoal pencils and the lessons he learned in art classes to draw his work, entitled “High Religion.”
“I wanted to test myself with how I would do with shadowing and different aspects of lighting,” Metcalf said.
His work features hands folded in prayer, a crucifix and the words of Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
“I wanted people to never to give up, to see that you’re going to make it,” Metcalf said. “There is always somebody to watch over you.”
The pieces that won prizes or honorable mentions had unique aspects that judges commented upon.
Chandra Cox, a department head at N.C. State University’s College of Art and Design, said the winners’ works had a message to share.
“That’s what all visual arts pieces do, they tell a story,” Cox said.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.