UNCSA hosts Piedmont Federal’s Artizens Competition

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

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Honorable Mention winner Neil Williamson and instructor Andrea Rains from Career Center.

WINSTON-SALEM — The UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA) was the venue for the ninth annual Artizens Competition on last week featuring the artwork of high school students from Forsyth, Davie, western Stokes and northern Davidson counties.  Piedmont Federal Savings Bank created Artizens as a platform for young artists to show their work, meet other artists and provide financial support for high school art programs throughout the area. The theme for this year’s Artizens event was “The Oscars.”  UNCSA’s Stage 6 featured the student art as well as film studio sets designed and built by students from the University’s School of Filmmaking. This is the first time Artizens has been held at UNCSA and certainly the first time the event has been held inside a working studio sound stage. A red carpet, a paparazzi wall for photos and movie props further outfitted the space.

“The diversity of the artwork this year and the unique talents demonstrated by the artists were on full display at Artizens,” commented Mike Hauser, president and CEO of Piedmont Federal. “This is one of my favorite events of the year because it brings young artists, high schools, the public, our Piedmont Federal staff, and now UNCSA and its students together in a unified effort to support the arts and our community.” Each participating high school can submit up to five pieces of art which are displayed at Piedmont Federal Savings Bank offices. The community is encouraged to visit the bank’s branches to vote for their favorites to win the People’s Choice awards. All of the art is then taken to UNCSA where the Overall Artizens Winner and an honorable mention award are selected by a panel of three judges. In addition, a Facebook Favorite is selected based on the votes cast on Facebook where all of the art is displayed. Artists receive cash prizes along the way in increasing amounts as they win at the various levels as do the high school art departments to help fund art education. This year, 88 pieces of art made it to UNCSA for judging representing 19 area high schools.

“Each year we look for ways to enhance Artizens and bring more people into the event to support young artists, their teachers, and schools emphasizing the importance of art education and the development of creative thinkers,” commented Ginger Salt, senior vice president and CMO of Piedmont Federal. “UNCSA stepped in this year providing a fantastic venue for Artizens but also lent their students who provided movie sets for the event and attended Artizens interacting with participants sharing their own insights into creative career pathways.”

The People’s Choice winners selected by the public at each of the Piedmont Federal branches in the area were as follows:

 Sarah Frisbie (tie)
West Forsyth
Clemmons branch office

• Sydney Harris (tie)
Davie High School
“Dawe’s Glacier”
Clemmons branch office

• Amanda Hofmann
Career Center
“A Walk Down Memory Lane”
Downtown branch office

• Nichakarn Nanthakasemsuk
Carver High School
“Abandoned Car in Winter”
Hanes Mill branch office

• Addie Anthis
Mt. Tabor High School
“Paw Paw”
Peach Haven branch office

• Heath Albright
East Forsyth High School
“Internal Vision”
Kernersville branch office

• Scout Liddell (tie)
Oak Grove High School
Southpark branch office

• Emma Sullivan
Oak Grove High School
Southpark branch office

• Lydia Spears
RJ Reynolds
“Self Reflection”
Stratford branch office

More than 3,000 people reviewed the art submissions posted on Facebook. This year’s Facebook Favorite was a tie. Delaney Black from Atkins High School won for her piece entitled “Flaws,” and Addie Anthis from Mt. Tabor won for her work entitled “Paw Paw.” Voting on Facebook was particularly strong this year allowing students to view and share art and ideas across social media.

The Overall 2019 Artizens Winner was Lydia Spears from RJ Reynolds High School for the work entitled “Self Reflection.”  The Honorable Mention award for Artizens went to Neil Williamson from the Career Center for “Fin.” “What started nine years ago as a way to help support local high school art programs has grown to be an outstanding art competition, a tradition for Piedmont Federal, and an exciting gathering of the community and young artists,” remarked Mike Hauser, president of Piedmont Federal.

The judges for the Artizens event this year are professors in the School of Filmmaking at UNCSA including Stephen Baker, animation; Joanne Moore, producing; and Eve Cauley, production design. “This is my second time serving as a judge for Artizens and I will gladly do it every year I am asked as this is such a privilege to see what these spectacular young artists are doing,” explained Joanne Moore.

The Artizens program provides funds to 19 area high school art departments that participate in the competition. Many of the students have gone on to study art and related fields after high school.