The 19th Annual Student Art Show, sponsored in part by the PHCC Foundation, was a huge success this year. Twenty-three students participated in the show, culminating in a reception and awards presentation in April.
Led by Gerry Bannan, Professor of Art, the students presented 45 drawings or paintings ranging from self-portraits to still lifes.
“This is a great opportunity for the students to demonstrate their talent, and to showcase what we do as a school for the arts,” Bannan said, adding that as their teacher, it’s especially “gratifying to see the individual progress that doesn’t always win an award, but shows development in the classroom.”
Christopher Parker, vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the Foundation, presented the awards to the students.
“I’ve been here [at PHCC] seven years and the art gets better every year,” Parker said to the attendees, adding that he even has a piece of art from a previous show hanging in his home.
Honorable Mentions, with a cash prize of $25 each, were awarded to Jessica Hubbard of Bassett, Casey Newman of Bassett, Myron Smith of Martinsville and Linda Spear of Martinsville. Awards of Excellence, with a cash prize of $50 each, were awarded to Cole Bullock of Collinsville, Wenn Harold of Bassett and Beth Marshall of Bassett.
The Best-In-Show award, with a prize for $100, was awarded to Nick LaPrade of Danville for “Self-Portrait.”
At each Student Art Show, the PHCC Foundation chooses one piece to purchase for $150 to add to its collection located in Lester Library. This year’s winner was Casey Newman for her still-life painting “Capitibus, Conchis, et Ures.” (Latin for “Skull, Shell, and Bottle.”)
“I didn’t want to just name it “Skull, Shell, and Bottle,” Newman said with a laugh. “I thought I would do Latin instead!”
Newman, an advanced painting student, explained that she started painting a year ago, and soon realized that she could paint skulls very well and was influenced by Bannan’s recommendation that she paint skulls for her submission.
“I was so excited! I was in complete shock,” Newman said of being given this honor by the Foundation. “I thought an Honorable Mention was great. I didn’t know I would get this, too.”
Newman graduated in the spring with her associate’s degree in general studies and hopes to “pursue something in the art field, possibly in design.”
Of this year’s art show, Bannan said “I’m always impressed by the work, but this year we have really outstanding talent!”