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Gold Keys for Talented Student-Artists
Gold Keys for Talented Student-Artists
Posted on 02/22/2019
BCS student-artists were honored through a century-old tradition during the Regional Scholastic Art Awards.By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Dept. (Photos By: Laura Mitchell, Arts Education Specialist)

For nearly a century, the national Scholastic Art Awards have recognized high school students with superior talents. Names like Andy Warhol and John Baldessari are quickly mentioned when previous award-winners are recalled. This month, several Buncombe County Schools student-artists joined the ranks of those celebrated through this fine arts tradition. At the Western North Carolina regional ceremony, three of them (Arnold Cortes, Townes Ellum, and Keagan Lindsey) received the coveted Gold Key awards, and their work will compete in the 96th annual National Scholastic Art Awards held in New York City.

“We are incredibly proud of our students for earning this recognition,” said BCS arts education specialist Laura Mitchell. “Their success stems from our fine art educators who are also artists in our community, teaching a high-quality art education curriculum. The students are taught not only art skills and history, but how to be creative thinkers - coupling highly-developed critical-thinking skills with the bravery required to take risks in their art-making.”

Mitchell explained that the artwork was juried by highly-esteemed artists in the regional competition, hosted by the Asheville Art Museum and the Asheville Area Section of the American Institute of Architects. Out of 550 regional entries, only 135 works received awards. BCS Gold Key winners are consistently represented in the national competition, she said.

This year's Gold and Silver Key works are on display until March 12 in the lobby of the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center located at 16 Fernihurst Drive on the campus of A-B Tech in Asheville. The exhibit is open from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Works earning Honorable Mentions will be displayed digitally during this exhibition.)

Congratulations to these accomplished students as they continue to pursue their arts education in Buncombe County Schools!



A.C. Reynolds High
Arnold Cortes, Gold Key, American Visions Nominee, Honorable Mention, National Art Education Association award
Azzie Cunningham, Docent's Choice Award, Honorable Mention
Townes Ellum, Gold Key, 2 Honorable Mentions
Haven Hager, 3 Silver Keys (including one for senior art portfolio), 2 Honorable Mentions
Keagan Lindsey, Gold Key, American Visions Nominee, 3 Honorable Mentions
Jyosna Moore, Honorable Mention
Prabhat Moore, 3 Honorable Mentions
Luke Sloan, Honorable Mention
Taylor Thomas, Silver Key
Caitlin Zorn, Honorable Mention
(Teachers: Ms. Mary Briden)

Clyde A. Erwin High
Natalie Shigley, Silver Key
(Teacher: Mr. Daniel Frisbee)

Enka High
Sarah McHone, Honorable Mention
Elena Sardari, Honorable Mention
(Teacher: Ms. Dorothy Hambright)

Martin L. Nesbitt Discovery Academy
Larkin Garden, Honorable Mention
(Teacher: Mr. Adam Bachmeyer)

Learn more about the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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