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VOL. 130 | NO. 26 | Monday, February 9, 2015

Students Earn More Than $260,000 in Art Scholarships

By Don Wade

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Technology changes just about everything, even art. But the 50th Annual Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards didn’t lack for entries – 2,185 individual submissions and another 80 senior portfolios.

“The same technology that has shortened the way we communicate – 140 characters – has opened up other ways of visually communicating,” said Elesha Newberry, associate director of education at the Brooks Museum of Art. “In the past five years, the number of photography entries has risen greatly.

“There’s Twitter, but there’s also Instagram,” Newberry said. “Maybe it’s changed the type of art and the references the art is making, but definitely not the quality.”

Through March 1, the Brooks Museum of Art will showcase more 350 works of art from Mid-South students. The Brooks and its college partners are awarding more than $260,000 in scholarships and prizes. About $12,000 is coming from the Brooks Museum League.

The college partners include Arkansas State University, Christian Brothers University, the Memphis College of Art, the University of Memphis and Ole Miss.

This year’s exhibition represents student work from more than 120 schools and 150 counties in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. One student from Overton High School, whose art is going on to the national competition, already had earned a scholarship to the Maryland Institute College of Art.

A total 0f 121 Gold Key awards were given for individual artworks; those students now get to compete at the national level.

“Those results will be out in March and judged digitally in New York,” Newberry said, adding that those students are competing for nearly $4 million in college scholarships at 60 schools and universities. The national Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are presented at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Regional awards ceremonies in various divisions will be held Saturday, Feb. 14. The Junior Division Awards will be held at 11 a.m. at the Brooks Museum. The Middle Division Awards will be held at 12:30 p.m. at the Brooks Museum. And the Senior Division Awards will be held at 2 p.m. at the Memphis College of Art. Each ceremony is followed by a reception at the Brooks.

Magna Bank has been a sponsor of the awards for several years and Kroger became a partner this year. “We’re always looking for people interested in supporting young people and the fine arts,” Newberry said.

To learn more about the Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards at the Brooks Museum visit www.brooksmuseum.org or call 901-544-6200.

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