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story.lead_photo.caption Elizabeth Knox, a senior at Pottsville High School, received a Best in Class award for this colored-pencil portrait, Let the Rain Pour.

Several young artists from the River Valley & Ozark Edition coverage area have their work on display in the 59th Young Arkansas Artists exhibition, sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Association.

This year’s exhibit is online only at yaa.arkansasartscenter.org.

The exhibit will be on view through Aug. 2.

Arkansas Arts Center Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said the annual exhibition has moved to a digital format during this time of social distancing as part of the Arkansas Arts Center’s new digital-engagement initiative, Arkansas Arts Center Amplified. She said through AAC Amplified, the center is committed to bringing engaging art experiences to where many people are now spending much of their time — online. She said the new digital format offers increased accessibility to the exhibition — both to families and students, as well as educators, as classroom instruction moves online for the foreseeable future.

“The Arkansas Arts Center remains committed to our community,” Ramirez said. “I commend Arts Center staff for their work developing an innovative, technology-based solution that ensures the continuity of this treasured exhibition. Young Arkansas Artists offers us an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of young artists, and the remarkable talent, creativity and perspective of these students is an absolute joy to experience.”

Each year, art teachers and instructors throughout Arkansas submit their students’ work, and a panel of art professionals selects works to be included in the exhibition. The Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition showcases artwork from students in kindergarten through high school in a wide range of mediums and techniques — from crayon and pastel to collage and sculpture.

This year, the panel selected 65 works from 478 entries. Guest juror Jonathan Wright, associate professor of art at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, selected a Best in Class and two Honorable Mention awards for each grade. Wright also selected the recipients of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists Award for Achievement in Watercolor and the Ray Smenner Award for Achievement in Painting. Members of the Arkansas Art Educators Association also selected one Teacher’s Choice award from each grade. Each winning artist’s school receives a monetary award funded by Arkansas Children’s Hospital to support the school’s art program.

Young Arkansas Artists awards were presented May 9 in a virtual awards ceremony for the young artists, families and teachers.

Local students with works in the show and their respective schools include the following:

• Ida Burns Elementary School, Conway

Fourth-grader Kayorie Magana, with a tempera piece, Blossom and Her Worries.

• Theodore Jones Elementary School, Conway

Third-grader Kai Burling, who won an Honorable Mention award with a permanent-marker-and-tempera piece, Kai’s Wave.

• West Side Elementary School, Greers Ferry

Sixth-grader Jaelyn Maida, who won an Honorable Mention with a block-print-on-paper landscape, The Old Rose Bud College.

• Pottsville School District

Ninth-grader Nayana Hernandez, who won a Teacher’s Choice award with an ink-and-charcoal landscape, People of the City.

Twelfth-grader Elizabeth Knox, who won a Best in Class award with a colored-pencil portrait, Let the Rain Pour.

• Dwight Elementary School, Russellville

First-grader Solangy Teo-Martinez, with a paper-and-tempera work, Construction Site.

Additional information may be found on the Arkansas Arts Center’s Facebook page, along with family-friendly, at-home art-activity prompts.

For more information, call (501) 372-4000.

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