2016-17 Emerging Artists Competition

First-Place winner ($3,000 scholarship) (Tie): Bluffton High School, SC
First-Place winner ($3,000 scholarship) (Tie): Savannah Arts Academy, GA
Second-Place winner ($2,000 scholarship): Hilton Head High School, SC
Third-Place winner ($1,000 scholarship) Spring Valley High School, SC

Honorable Mention ($500 scholarship): All student work accepted to the show.

Judges’ Response

Welcome to the 6th annual Emerging Artists Competition at USCB’s Historic campus. The goal of our event is to support and showcase exemplary artistic achievements of junior and senior high school students. This year’s exhibition reflects the combined submissions from eighteen high schools in the southeast. In the process of judging, the jury carefully considered 117 artworks in various media and selected 52 pieces that we believed were above average in the following criteria: technical skill, creativity, visual interest, and presentation of the work.

We are very pleased with the quality of the works chosen for this year’s competition. The four works the jury singled out were outstanding in all categories noted above, and are as follows:

First Place- Hannah Kennedy, Abandoned, (Bluffton High School, SC); ink and wash; 5” x 6”. Tied for First-Place, we were impressed by the gestural aesthetics of this still life of an abandoned bird’s nest. The layering of ink strokes over a loose wash base creates a striking visual balance between impression and representation.

First Place- Maden Palefsky, Fight Club (Savannah Arts Academy, GA); oil paint; 8” x 10”. Also tied for First-Place, this classic style portrait creates a strong mood through dramatic chiaroscuro lighting. The subtle color palette and smooth modeling of form in the blended brush strokes impressed our judges.

Second Place- Savannah Heitmann, Basket of Light (Hilton Head High School, SC); Photography; 10” x 15”. Our Second-Place winner displays strong composition, with classic photo design like Rule of Thirds and contrast. We were impressed by the depth of field effect and lighting exposure on the basket that captured the drama of a sunset.

Third Place- Ethan Drake, Vitruvian Man (Spring Valley High School, SC); Digital Collage; 36” x 24”. For Third-Place, we chose a digital composite that collages contemporary pen and ink drawings with photography and classic art. The contrast between Da Vinci’s classic drawing and edgy doodles creates a visual flow that draws the viewer in to contemplate the concept behind the portrait.

It was our pleasure to review all the works submitted for consideration into the show, and our special thanks goes to all students who took the time to complete and submit their original artwork, and to their teachers who have taught, inspired and supported them to become the emerging artists they are today.  Congratulations! This is an accomplishment you should be proud of and we hope you will reflect on your successes and participation in USCB’s 2016-2017 Emerging Artists Competition.  We encourage all of you who are eligible to enter into next year’s competition and to consider applying for additional art scholarships at USCB.

The jurors: USCB Fine Arts Department Faculty.