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George Watts Wins State Fair Art Prize

November 6, 2009

Congratulations to Art Teacher Carol Barnes and students Kiran Baucom, Yessica Berrera Santos, Nicholas Martelon, Laura Salazar, John Saylor, and Elizabeth Wood.  They were awarded 1st Place in the 2009 North Carolina State Fair Art Competition!

George Watts has entered the State Fair art contest only three times (each of the past three years) and we’ve won the contest every time we’ve entered!  This may be the first time any school has ever won 1st place 3 years in a row!  We are extremely proud of this accomplishment, especially considering the huge number of entries from schools all across North Carolina.

2009 State Fair Art Contest 1st Place Winning Entries

2009 State Fair Art Contest 1st Place Winning Entries

So what’s the George Watts secret to success?

High expectations, according to Ms. Barnes.  She presents her students with complex, mulit-media assignments that require work over many weeks or months. Students learn early not to expect instant gratification in art class.  They don’t take home a piece of work every day or even every week.  Instead, they work on lengthy projects requiring multiple steps, each step dependent on completing the one before.  The results are striking, and obviously stand out in the crowd!

The pieces entered in this year’s competition were created last spring by 4th graders (who are now 5th graders).  They are portraits of Barack Obama, delivering his acceptance speech after winning the presidential election.  Each student added their own words – “A New Era,” “American Dream,” “Justice Has Won,” and others – reflecting their own interpretation of the historical significance of this event.

The winning entries are displayed in the hallway outside the art classroom.  Be sure to take a look!


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