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Students awarded for art

NATCHEZ — Scratchings, paintings and graphite creations were a testament to local talent at the Natchez Art Association’s second-annual high school student juried art exhibit.

The work of up to two-dozen high school artists was on display at the Mississippi Welcome Center located in the Natchez Visitor Reception Center Saturday afternoon.

Students were awarded first, second and third place for their entries and honorable mentions were recognized as well.

“I was shocked,” Bradley King said, holding a $200 check from the association — the first-place prize for his ink drawing of an old car called, “Stanley.”

King is a senior at Natchez High School and has developed as an artist since the sixth grade. King said he is not sure what he wants to do with the cash prize, but he does know he would like to pursue a career in graphic design or media animation.

King’s advice to young artists is straightforward.

“Just keep practicing,” he said. “Have a lot of patience, and make sure you’re enjoying it.”

The second-place winner was Katie Elizabeth Ernst’s torn-paper collage called, “The True Love.”

Belle Junkin snagged third place with her scratch board image called “Tiger.”

“They worked hard,” said Sandy Lane, president of Natchez Art Association. “The teachers took initiative to get them entered, and that’s what it takes. I think the art this year is really extraordinary.”

Lane said local businesses contributed the prize money, and every dollar went to the winners.

“We want to thank these businesses and thank the students who will be the future artists in our nation,” Lane said.

Loraine Griffin, an artist with the association, said there are several reasons why it’s important to give students an opportunity to show their work.

“It brings out their confidence and rewards it,” Griffin said. “It is a challenge, but it’s also another way to find out what other students their age are doing, so maybe they won’t feel like the Lone Ranger. It’s a passion for these kids, and we have this contest to give back to them.”

“We plan to continue this, and we want students to know that we will continue it,” said Brenda Hicks, past president of the Natchez Art Association. “The teachers inspire the students to be involved in the contest, and it also lets students know the community and sponsors care and want them to excel.”

Griffin said the juried exhibit is only one example of what the association offers the community.

The Natchez Art Association’s working artists studio is located at the Priest’s House at Canal and Franklin streets, and provides summer art classes, arts camps and a student art center. All artists affiliated with the association are local and some have work on display at the ArtsNatchez Gallery.

The student exhibit will be on display at the visitor center until April 16.

Honorable mentions went to Julia Pace, Brandis White, Sarah Hendry, Taylor Littleton, Kelsey Barnes, Alex Chandler, Ashley Moss, Deontre’ Terrell, Madeline Beard, Ashlee Digel, Bethany Fletcher, Ginny Daggett, Stuart Benoit and Lorna Klein.

Gold honorable mentions were awarded to Jade Pribbernow, Peter Foster and Caleb Upton.

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