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Piedmont Federal announces winners of the artizens high school art contest

The Honorable Mention award for Artizens went to Anna Hare from the Career Center for “Self Portrait.”

This year’s Facebook Favorite was Delaney Black from Atkins High School who won for her piece entitled, “A Portrait of a Young Girl.”

Artizens winners celebrate, virtually

WINSTON-SALEM — The UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA) was to be the venue for the 10th annual Artizens Competition this month featuring the artwork of high school students from Forsyth, Davie, Stokes, and northern Davidson counties. The COVID virus changed those plans. Instead, Artizens winners were announced recently on Piedmont Federal’s Facebook page with a video featuring the artworks. Piedmont Federal 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.

“This has been such a disruptive time in all our lives, but perhaps especially so for our high school students who look forward to special events like Artizens where they can grow their artistic talents and meet other students,” commented David Barksdale, Piedmont Federal president and CEO. “We never considered not moving forward with the judging process for the art, naming winners, and helping to fund high school art programs in the community.”

Each participating high school can submit up to five pieces of art which are normally displayed at Piedmont Federal offices. The community is encouraged to visit the bank’s branches to vote for their favorites to win the People’s Choice awards. This year, the voting process went online where the art was viewed virtually. People’s Choice Winners were selected for each Piedmont Federal branch where the art was originally entered in the competition. An Overall Artizens Winner and an Honorable Mention award were selected by a panel of three judges. In addition, a Facebook Favorite was selected based on the votes cast on Facebook. All of the art can be seen at Artizens-PFSB.comArtists receive cash prizes in increasing amounts as they win at the various levels as do the high school art departments to help fund art education. This year, 86 pieces of art made it to the final judging level representing 18 area high schools.

“In this, our 10th year with the Artizens contest, we are reminded like never before of the importance of community and bringing people together even if that is virtually,” commented Ginger Salt, Piedmont Federal senior vice president and chief experience officer. “We developed a plan this year to put the art and voting process online so the community could see the work of these outstanding artists.”

The People’s Choice winners selected by the public online were as follows:

• Annette Curti, West Forsyth High School, “The Bass Solo,” Clemmons branch

• Bianca Peoples, Career Center, “Chopstix,” downtown branch

• Bella Smith, West Stokes High School, “Majestic Lion,” Hanes Mill branch

• Madison Ruhmann, Mt. Tabor High School, “Max,” Peace Haven branch

• Emma Sullivan, Oak Grove High School, “Juicy Fruit,” South Park branch

• Lydia Spears, RJ Reynolds High School, “Glitch,” Stratford Road branch

• Emma Mikita, East Forsyth High School, “Untitled,” Kernersville branch

More than 2,000 people reviewed the art submissions posted on Facebook. This year’s Facebook Favorite was Delaney Black from Atkins High School who won for her piece entitled, “A Portrait of a Young Girl.” Voting on Facebook was particularly strong this year allowing students to view and share art and ideas across social media.

The Overall 2020 Artizens Winner was Brynn Hutchison from West Forsyth High School for the work entitled, “Mirielle in a Milk Bath.”  The Honorable Mention award for Artizens went to Anna Hare from the Career Center for “Self Portrait.”

The Artizens program provides funds to 18 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.