Lowndes High's art scene is thriving

Apr. 26—VALDOSTA — Art is thriving, thanks to the National Art Honor Society at Lowndes High School, which boasts its largest membership to date, with a record-breaking 78 members this year.

The NAHS members are passionate about art and making a positive impact in their community. Their meetings blend camaraderie, creativity, and purpose as they catch up with one another, plan events, and engage in various art-making activities. NAHS members embrace their artistic talents and explore new techniques together.

Their dedication extends beyond the studio walls. With help from sponsors such as Chick-Fil-A Valdosta, Texas Roadhouse, Berry Global, and the VSU Art Department, NAHS can collaborate on initiatives such as Shop with a Viking team, where they sponsor a child in need and decorate a Christmas tree with their handmade decorations.

NAHS members constantly seek ways to showcase art's importance in their school and the wider community. As they continue to grow and inspire, NAHS extends invitations every fall, inviting students to join their club.

Students from Lowndes High School had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant art world with two exciting field trips. In October, the students visited the Valdosta State University Art Department and participated in various workshops. From painting to sculpture, the students explored different mediums under the guidance of experienced artists.

In February, the students' artistic adventures continued with a trip to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The students were treated to impressive art displays from different periods and styles. From classic masterpieces to contemporary installations, the students were captivated by the diversity and richness of the museum's collection. To top off their Atlanta experience, the students visited Sam Flax, a beloved art supply store, where they stocked up on supplies to fuel their creativity.

Thanks to enriching experiences and opportunities, LHS students have been immersed in a world of creativity and artistry. Local potters Ramiro Santillan and Sarah Galeano recently visited ceramics classes, offering demonstrations on pottery techniques. Meanwhile, a Savannah College of Art and Design visitor provided insights into art-related career paths.

Throughout the year, LHS students have showcased their talents in various exhibitions and competitions. In August, six students exhibited at VSU, and 48 students competed at the Georgia National Fair in October, with two LHS students taking top awards. November featured an AP Art show at Gud Coffee, and February saw 30 students in the Regional High School Art Competition. LHS students participated in the Capitol Art Exhibition and the Congressional Art Competition this spring.

LHS recently concluded its highly anticipated art competition, drawing participation from diverse, talented students. With over 100 artworks submitted, the event showcased the creativity and artistic expression of the school's community. Notably, the competition was open to all LHS students, regardless of their enrollment in art classes, emphasizing inclusivity and diversity in artistic endeavors.

Students were encouraged to submit pieces within and outside of class, allowing for a broad spectrum of artistic styles and mediums. The submissions underwent a meticulous jury process overseen by three art professors from Valdosta State University.

When asked their reason for competing in the art competition, Mackenzie Braswell, a talented 10th grader at Lowndes High School and winner of the first place award, stated, "I've always liked art, and doing stuff at the school is really important to me."

Visual arts instructor Daisy Taylor explained the benefits of LHS's art program and her passion for it. "Our program really offers a place for students who need somewhere to express themselves," stated Taylor. "I think I've always been a teacher. I just wanted to be in a job where I can paint, so this is like a dream job for me."

LHS students garnered top recognition by bringing home third place, second place, first place, and a Best in Show award. Emme Kirkland took third place with their piece "Out of Body," which was made using the Gouache paint technique. Daniela Viveros placed second with their piece "Fresh Veggies," made from acrylic paint. Mackenzie Braswell's acrylic piece, "MultiFACEted," won first place. Indya James won the Best in Show award for "Orange Foot," a stunning piece made from yarn.