Creativity on Display

by Feb 29, 2024Art & Culture, Kids, South Brunswick

South Brunswick High School students showcase their work at the Woman’s Club Visual Arts, Crafts & Photography Show.

The talent and creativity of South Brunswick High School students were on full display at the Woman’s Club Visual Arts, Crafts & Photography Show on February 6. The event was co-sponsored by the Woman’s Club and the City of Southport and held at the Southport Community Building, where an estimated 175 enthusiastic spectators admired the students’ work and were treated to pizza, cookies and background music by the famous Blue Tulip Jazz Duo. But the real treat was seeing these talented students’ imagination at work, choosing a variety of subjects and using all kinds of different media to create their pieces.

Womens Club Art Show and Awards

According to event chair Nancy Flanagan, there were 109 entries in a total of 21 categories ranging from acrylic or oil painting to graphite pencil drawings, pastels, sculpture, paper craft, ceramics, computer graphics, crochet/knitting, mixed media and upcycle, to name just a few. First-, second- and third-place winners received ribbons and prize money. The first-place winners in all categories will go on to compete in the district competition, and winners there will compete at the state level.

The Best in Show winner was Gianna W. (no last names were allowed) for her entry of a rooster made entirely of clothes pins.

This was not only well done, but also a creative reminder for all of us to look for ways to repurpose outdated items.

Best In Show Rooster

Both art teachers were there and justifiably proud of their students. Ian Sands said, “It is great to see them (students) so excited about art.” Stacey Belter said she enjoyed “watching how they grow and seeing all the work they put into their art.” Her student Avella M. took home the most first place wins and $65. “That didn’t surprise me,” Stacey said. “She is very talented, and her mother is a wonderful artist.”

The two judges were equally complimentary of the students’ work. Creative photographer Mogens Hermansen said he thought the art was “very creative and qualitative.”

He said, “You could tell the students put a lot of work and thought into their work.” The other judge, well-known professional painter, Diane Sloan, said she was “glad to see the variety of work.”

Art Show Womens Club

At the conclusion of this part of the evening, I asked Nancy Flanagan her thoughts on the event. Nancy said, “We were so pleased by the quality and variety of the arts and crafts submitted by the students. It was an honor to acknowledge their work and to contribute to supporting their creativity.”

The second part of the evening was the presentation of the Woman’s Club’s Sallie Southall Cotton Scholarship to SBHS senior Ellie Harrington.

The award was presented by scholarship committee member Ginger Harper, who began by explaining that this scholarship is the local entry in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) of North Carolina awarded to an outstanding high school senior (male or female). She went on to say that the committee had a hard choice because they had three excellent candidates to choose from. Ellie’s outstanding academic, sports, extracurricular, leadership and civic records, compounded by her interpersonal skills, won them over. She jokingly said Ellie began her civic participation when she was 3 years old, having modeled one of the pillowcase dresses made by members of the Woman’s Club to be shipped to little girls in Haiti following the hurricane of 2010 that destroyed a large part of the country.

Ellie Harrington Spokesperson

Ellie then spoke to the audience to express her gratitude and tell us that she would be going to Wake Forest University for a degree in business administration, followed by graduate studies in nutrition with the goal of becoming a certified sports dietician. Very ambitious plans, but no doubt achievable for a woman whose motto is: “If I see anyone out there doing better than I am, then I need to step up my game.”

The evening ended with an impassioned plea by Kimberly Sands (wife of Ian Sands, one of the art teachers) to the participating students to donate their artwork for a silent auction on May 31 at the St. James Community Center to benefit Habit for Humanity. That will give us all another chance to admire their amazing work and purchase the piece of our choice.