HELENA, ARKANSAS: Blues Heritage Youth Art Exhibit Reception

Blues Heritage Youth Art Exhibit Reception
Tuesday, October 5 · 5:00pm – 8:30pm
Delta Cultural Center Depot, 95 Missouri Street
www.deltaculturalcenter.com
Helena, ARKANSAS

Delta Cultural Center’s 2010 Blues Heritage Youth Art Competition marked another overwhelming success for the revitalized program, drawing close to 200 student entries from across Arkansas and neighboring Mississippi.

An exhibition of the student artwork begins Wednesday, October 6, and continues through year’s end at the DCC Depot at 95 Missouri Street. A reception honoring the student winners in the competi…tion will be held at the depot on Tuesday, beginning at 5 p.m. Admission is free and the public is warmly encouraged to attend.

The competition kicked off in 2008, rising from the ashes of an earlier program that had been snuffed out years prior. The new effort would draw energy from a conjunction with the city’s world-famous blues festival.

“We knew we wanted to have the greatest impact possible, and we believed the synergy gain by coupling the art competition with the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival could be amazing,” recalled Jack Myers, DCC educational coordinator.

Winners in 2010 were scattered from Jonesboro to Pine Bluff to Clarksdale, Miss., in the most closely matched competition to date, Myers said. “The works were exceptional and reflected the high level of student talent and academic training that makes us all proud,” he said of the entries.

Carly Strange of Nettleton High School in Jonesboro won the Senior Division competition. High School Merit Award winners were Latoya Edmond from Helena-West Helena’s Central High School and Chantell Hill of Clarendon High School.

Britt Burchfield of Clarksdale’s Presbyterian Day School took first place honors in the Middle School Division. Middle School Merit Award winners were Dye’quan Kizer of Helena-West Helena’s Central High School and Austin Berryhill of Clarksdale’s St. George’s Episcopal School.

Ashley Russell of St. George’s Episcopal School at Clarksdale was the winner in the Elementary Division. Merit Award winners were Corinthia Dorn of Pine Bluff’s Oak Park Elementary School and Cade Robertson of St. George’s Episcopal School in Clarksdale.

Award- winning teachers include Gloria Blaylock of Oak Park Elementary School at Pine Bluff, Brent Harris of Helena-West Helena’s Central High School, Charlisa French of Clarendon High School, Paula Douglas of Jonesboro’s Nettleton High School, and Betsy Corso of Presbyterian Day School and Cheryl Swindoll of St. George’s Episcopal School, both of Clarksdale.

Each year’s competition is based around a blues theme; an exhibition of the student work is set during the world-famous music event, and festival-goers collect free posters and postcards of the winning artwork. In 2010, student artists were asked to create a piece of artwork on poster board, art paper, or canvas no larger than a standard poster board and utilize the theme of “Country Blues.”

The competition is open to all public, private, and home-school students.

Also key to the competition’s success has been the participation of Helena’s Pillow Clinic, which sponsors $800 in cash awards for winning students and instructors.

“We cannot over-emphasize the importance of the Pillow Clinic’s participation, nor overstate our gratitude to Ned Pillow and staff,” Myers said.

Merit winners in all divisions received $20 prizes. Teachers of the first place award winner in each division received $50 to aid classroom instruction; the teacher of each merit award winner received $20.

Myers also noted the aid and assistance of members of the Arkansas Delta Arts Partnership for volunteering their assistance and expertise in the competition process.

Gallery hours at the DCC Visitors Center at 141 Cherry Street and the nearby DCC Depot at 95 Missouri Street are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. “King Biscuit Time,” the nation’s longest-running blues radio program, is hosted each weekday at the DCC Visitor’s Center by “Sunshine” Sonny Payne, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. “Delta Sounds,” hosted by DCC Assistant Director Terry Buckalew and Payne, is broadcast each Friday from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

For more information, interested persons can call the Delta Cultural Center at (870) 338-4350 or toll free at (800) 358-0972 or visit the DCC online at www.deltaculturalcenter.com.

The Delta Cultural Center shares the vision of all seven agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage – to preserve and promote Arkansas heritage as a source of pride and satisfaction. Other agencies within the department are the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Arts Council, and the Natural Heritage Commission.