NRCA's Art Department sent 18 student-created works of art to the 2023 NC State Fair, and the high school students placed sixth in the state out of all the high schools submitting entries for adjudication.
"Our middle and high school students were assigned a ‘free' art piece that either represented something in our state or something you could find at the fair. We had staff help us select the ones we felt would best represent the NRCA art program," said Leisha Hodgson, who teaches art in all division levels at NRCA.
High school students representing NRCA at the state fair were Annie Coombs (9), Sarah Eyster (12), Katherine Kim (11), Katherine Matteson (12), Kailyn Mitro (11), and Reece Newman (10).
"Several of our high school students are preparing for college art programs. Having their work shown in other areas is a great addition to the preparation we have through our own Art Extravaganza and the ACSI Fine Arts event," Hodgson said.
Middle school students representing NRCA were Calen Thomas B. (7), Harper C. (7), Wayne M. (7), Lila R. (7), and Hannah W. (8).
"Our first graders were learning about Matisse, so we decided to use oil pastels to create a colorful background that reminded us of all the lights and colors we can find at the fair. Students then used cut paper shapes like Matisse to add the idea of different rides or games. The favorite choice was to make a Ferris wheel," Hodgson said.
Several classroom teachers helped the art teachers, Hodgson and Carrieanna Tatum, select the six best representations to send to the fair. First graders representing NRCA at the state fair were Haven B., Logan M., Isaac P., Judah S., Wes W., and Whitley Y.
Entering their work in the state fair's art exhibition allowed NRCA art students to receive a variety of feedback.
"Participating in outside shows and competitions is a wonderful opportunity to help our students grow as artists. It provides them with the chance to see how their work compares to other students across the state and allows them to hear critiques and suggestions from other artists. As growing artists, it is important to hear from outside sources other than just Mrs. Tatum and myself to continue development of techniques and styles," Hodgson said.
The NRCA Art Department is exploring other community-based venues to showcase their students' work. Currently, options include the Raleigh Junior League and the Azalea Festival Youth Art Contest.
Hodgson explained, "Any opportunity that the arts can be celebrated is wonderful! Our desire is to participate in more outside competitions and shows each year. We feel this provides a wonderful opportunity for our students as well as the surrounding community to see the talent we have here at NRCA."