“The Lady” Oil Painting by Senior Portfolio Award Winner Aly Hamilton from Florida State University School. (Photo: LeMoyne Arts)
For 33 years, LeMoyne Arts has brought the best young artists in the city together at the Mahaska Whitley Student Exhibition: High School Art & Senior Portfolio Competition.
This year, nearly 200 students from eight local high schools and the Tallahassee homeschool community submitted over 150 pieces of art. The show was judged by Aja Roache, Barbara Cohenour, and Preston McLane, curators from FAMU, TCC, and FSU, respectively.
Through generous donations from individuals and businesses, LeMoyne Arts awarded $3,500 in college scholarships to six high school seniors and nearly $1,500 in art supply awards to 29 competition winners.
“Here at LeMoyne we want to encourage and grow the art community at all ages, from our ArtSparks class that brings art to toddlers, to our youth summer camps and our adult classes,” said Gabriela Denton, LeMoyne’s education director. “The Mahaska Whitley Show is an incredible opportunity for young artists to get their first experience at a real gallery show, meet the Tallahassee artistic community, and receive recognition for their work.”
The Mahaska Whitley show is a highlight of our local arts community, and a goal for art students and teachers to work towards all year.
For high school seniors, competing in the Mahaska Whitley Show is an opportunity for them to sharpen their artistic skills, expand their artistic vision, and build on the art portfolios with scholarships many will use to attend art school in the fall. Students in 9th-11th grades compete for art prizes to help fuel future artistic exploration.
In fact, many previous winners have gone on to be professional artists. Matt Callahan, a talented artist who tragically passed away in 2018, credited winning the Mahaska Whitley show as the catalyst that encouraged him to pursue a career in art.
After his death, his family and friends established the Matt Callahan Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor his memory by encouraging the next generation of Tallahassee artists and supporting the show that changed his life.
“Thirty-three years ago, Dick Puckett [former LeMoyne Arts’ executive director] and I had a vision to reach out to young artists in Leon County,” said retired Leon High School art teacher Mahaska Whitley. “Our goal was to introduce them to the process of professional presentation and offer scholarships to encourage them to pursue their gifts. I am proud to be part of this annual event and very humbled by the honor of having it named for me.”
This year’s show is sponsored in honor of Charlotte Allen Williams by her family. Charlotte Allen WIlliams was an avid supporter of LeMoyne Arts as a member, student, volunteer, and board member for over 50 years.
She was a lifelong artist who wrote the book “Florida Quilts” and who showcased her award-winning quilts and watercolor paintings at art galleries across the state. LeMoyne honors her life and her family’s friendship at the 33rd Annual Mahaska Whitley Show.
The LeMoyne Arts Gallery is currently closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the winning artists’ works can be seen on the LeMoyne Arts Facebook page. www.facebook.com/LeMoyneArts.
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