By: Taylor Tepper | St. Petersburg Patch | February 11, 2011
ST. PETERSBURG – Beth Morean stood toward the exit of the auditorium, waiting for her husband to catch up. Her face beamed with pride.
“I’m thrilled my daughter loves art,” she said.
Shannon, a 10th grader from St. Petersburg High School, earned an Award of Merit for her piece, Grow.
To Morean’s right, another set of parents fidgeted with a digital camera. They asked their daughter, who was in line to accept her award, to show them which button to press when she walked on stage.
These were just a few snapshots from The 2011 Pinellas Region of The Scholastic Art Awards, part of a 90-year-old program highlighting creative achievement among students in middle and high schools. The national competition is broken down into regions, with Pinellas County one of them.
More than 1,300 pieces were submitted from Pinellas students this year, with 190 honored. Of those, 39 received the prestigious Gold Key Award.
“The students who receive the Gold Key Award are nominated for National Awards,” explained Sue Castleman, the K – 12 Visual Arts Supervisor for Pinellas County Schools. If selected from the national panel of judges, students will have the opportunity to showcase their talents at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Raymond James and The Suncoasters of St. Petersburg sponsored the event, which involved underwriting application fees for all student participants.
“It is rewarding to allow student artists to participate in this program,” said Marcus Greene, President of the Suncoasters.
The Judges for the 2011 Art Awards were Kevin Grass, an artist and Art Instructor at St. Petersburg College; and two former Gold Key winners: Michele Tuegel and Christopher Still.
Still credits his participation in the Scholastic Arts event for his career success as an artist, Greene said.
The Ceremony took place at the spacious Gibbs High School Auditorium. The artwork was hung in the lobby, creating a collage of inspiration.
Mirror Image, a Gold Key award winner by Shorecrest Senior Kelsey Carey, gave the viewer a sense of infinity through intertwined glass and metal buildings that seemed to go on forever.
St. Petersburg High’s Dorey Passmore’s Fishing Line, an Award of Merit recipient, captured a symbolic moment of summer time adolescence.
Anti Heroine, by St. Petersburg High School’s Junior Lindsey Kamide, uses an assortment of media to present an alluring femme fatale figure.
As students walked across the main stage to accept their respective awards, their work was shown on a massive projector behind them. The hour-long ceremony was constantly interrupted with laughter as children took bows and waved their hands demonstrably.
Ninth-grader Matthew Giallourakis of Palm Harbor University High School was spiffily clad in a pinstriped suit.
The program celebrated arts education, teachers and the potential of talented students.
“I think this is great for the kids,” Morean said.