National Arts Program

​​​Meet the Judges​


Sam Bass

“Being a NASCAR artist has been my main goal and focus since I was seven years old. It has been an amazing journey that I enjoy as much today as when I began. The fans, sponsors, tracks and drivers associated with this sport have just been great to me over the years!” - Sam Bass

2018 marks 37 years in motorsports for Bass, who is preparing for another busy season. Originally from Hopewell, Virginia, he started his career with the presentation of a single piece of art he designed for racing legend Bobby Allison. From there evolved an extensive portfolio of work for Fortune 500 companies, NASCAR-sanctioned tracks and top NASCAR drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Sr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson,  Tony Stewart and many more. Bass continues to design paint schemes and original art in his own unique style, recognized and sought after by collectors and race fans around the world.

​​​Lauren Harkey

Lauren Harkey, a Charlotte native, earned a B.A. with distinction in art history and psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation, Lauren interned with Carla Hanzal, the former Curator of Contemporary Art at The Mint Museum and the current director of public art for The Arts and Science Council. Lauren earned her master of letters in modern and contemporary art with distinction from the University of Glasgow in association with Christie's Education in London, England, and her thesis was titled Common Borders: The Contingent Subject in Contemporary Art.

Lauren graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2014 and is licensed to practice law in North Carolina. In law school, she won a national writing competition for her art law independent study paper titled Copyright's Identity Crisis in the Reflection of Contemporary Art. Since returning to Charlotte after her graduate work, Lauren has been actively involved in the arts community and currently serves as president of the Board of the Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum. 

In 2016, Lauren joined Christie Taylor as a partner and consultant with Hodges Taylor. Hodges Taylor was founded in 1980 by Dot Hodges and Christie Taylor and operated as reputable gallery representing southeastern artists for more than 30 years. Today, Hodges Taylor operates as a consulting firm and exhibition space that helps businesses and individuals begin or continue to build art collections.

​​Jonell Logan

Jonell Logan is a collector, independent curator, arts advocate and founder of 300 Arts Project, LLC. 300 Arts organizes exhibitions and professional development opportunities emerging artists and works with museums, colleges and collectors to expand and document their exhibitions and collections. Its mission is to support equity and diversity in arts engagement through the presentation and investigation of contemporary art. 

Recent curatorial projects include Lilith, an international photography exhibition of women artists, including Allison Janae Hamilton, one of the newly announced 2018 artists in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem; and Kidnapped Pagans, a public/private installation of work by Antoine Williams, recent awardee of a 2017 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant.  

Logan has worked at a number of arts organizations including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, South Carolina; and the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is currently on the board of The Light Factory.

As an arts advocate and public speaker, Logan has presented numerous lectures and artists conversations across the country. She recently spoke at the Tweed Museum in Duluth Minnesota and was a presenter at Pecha Kucha Charlotte, and TedX Charlotte.