Buckhannon Academy art teacher Virginia Hicks with student Maggie Webb's winning piece, "Cardinal in Low Relief."

Upshur County students win at state Art Education Association Youth Art Month awards ceremony

PARKERSBURG — The West Virginia Art Education Association (WVAEA) held its State Youth Art Month Exhibit March 1-9, honoring K-12 artists and educators from across the state for their exceptional creativity and dedication. The event, held at the Parkersburg Arts Center, showcased a diverse range of artistic expressions and celebrated the importance of arts education.

On March 9, the organization held its awards ceremony, where three Upshur County students were honored.

Maggie Webb from Buckhannon Academy Elementary won first place in the Elementary 3-D category for her piece titled “Cardinal in Low Relief.” Maggie also received the prestigious Best of Show award for her talent and artistic vision.

Reflecting on the event, Buckhannon Academy art teacher Virginia Hicks expressed pride in her students’ accomplishments, stating, “It’s truly inspiring to see the creativity and passion that these young artists bring to their work. Maggie’s talent, like many of my students, is exceptional and I’m thrilled to see her recognized with these awards.”

Another talented artist from Upshur County, Ella Whitehair from Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, received third place in the Middle School 3-D category for her piece “Panda in a Tree.”

Whitehair, who attended the awards with her family, shared her excitement, stating, “I love art because it can have many different meanings to many different people. Art can be drawing, painting, singing or playing an instrument. Art has always been a way for me to express myself and my ideas.”

Additionally, Aubri Pierce from Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School secured third place in the Middle School Drawing category for her piece “Garden.”

The WVAEA also expressed gratitude to its sponsors, including the West Virginia Watercolor Society, Dick Blick and Camden Clark Medical Hospital, whose support made it possible to award prizes totaling close to $5,000 to deserving students and educators.

Dr. Jeffrey Grubbs, President of the West Virginia Art Education Association, emphasized the importance of arts education in nurturing creativity and self-expression among youth.

“The State Youth Art Month Exhibit is a testament to the vibrant arts community in West Virginia,” he said. “We are committed to supporting and celebrating the artistic endeavors of students and educators across the state for years to come.”

For more information about the WVAEA and its initiatives, visit WVAEA’s website.

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