Winners announced for the 18th annual National Arts Program

Philip Freeman

Exhibit runs through February 28 at the Government Center

Twenty-five talented local government employees and their family members were honored during the 18th Annual National Arts Program awards ceremony and opening reception on Friday, Feb. 2. The program recognizes the creative talents of City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools CMS and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library employees, retirees and their family members. Entries were judged by Lauren Harkey, partner and consultant with Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy; Jonell Logan, founder of 300 Arts Project, Inc. and NASCAR artist Sam Bass.  

“Charlotte has a great arts scene that features artists around the country and across the world,” said Logan. “The National Arts Program is so important because it allows us to see and celebrate the work of our neighbors and friends who are an important part of Charlotte’s amazing arts community.”

The reception featured comments by City, County, Library, CMS and Arts and Science Council officials and board members. Watercolorist, photographer and writer Cotton Ketchie was the keynote speaker. Awards were given in eight categories: Adult Amateur, Adult Intermediate, Adult Professional, Youth, Teen, Best of Show, People's Choice and the Art Education Award. “I was very impressed with the overall strength of the artwork in the exhibit,” said Bass. “Each category of artists had a wide variety of subject matter and compositional diversity that made it incredibly difficult to narrow them down to just a few winners.”

“This exhibit is an open and inclusive way to celebrate the creative arts of Charlotte,” said Harkey. “More importantly, it showcases the creativity of individuals who work on behalf of the residents of our community to make it a vibrant place to call home.”

This year’s exhibit features 203 works of art in all mediums, from photography and sculpture to painting and mixed media. The exhibit runs through Wednesday, February 28. It’s free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, located at 600 East 4th Street in uptown. View the winning pieces.


Best of Show

"The Brothers" (works on paper) by George Rivera (adult professional), CATS Driver 

People’s Choice

"Neo Soul" (painting) by Naomi Pridgen (teen), family member 

Art Education Award

“Mysterious” (works on paper) by Zoey Bell (youth)

Adult Amateur

First Place – “One to One: Double Exposure on Medium Format Film” (photography) by Holly Whisman, Voter Registration Manager

Second Place - "Look! Look!” (mixed media) by Jessica Prescott, family member

Third Place - "JB” (painting) by Anne Masters, Library Branch Manager

Honorable Mention – “Snow” (photography) by Sharon Buchanan, Engineering Project Manager

Honorable Mention – “Moonshine” (painting) by John Huneycutt, Construction Inspector

Adult Intermediate

First Place – “Homage to the Hunter” (mixed media) by Nicholas Gripp, Commercial Plans Examiner 

Second Place - "Retired” (works on paper) by Molly Faulkner, family member

Third Place - "Looking into the Eyes of a Tzadik” (painting) by Hanah Burke, Fiscal Support Assistant

Honorable Mention – “Possession of Self” (mixed media) by April Kinley, family member

Honorable Mention – “Serving Bowl” (craft) by Jim Wolf, family member

Honorable Mention – “Day into Night” (photography) by Tabitha Carnes Warren, Senior Communications Specialist

Adult Professional

First Place - "Goodbye, For Now” (painting) by Bryan Wilson, Art Educator

Second Place - "Overcast Monstera” (mixed media) by Laura Wallis, Art Teacher 

Third Place - "Homelessness in America: Skid Row” (mixed media) by John Miles, Recreation Assistant and Art Teacher

Honorable Mention – “Common Variable” (works on paper) by Elisa Wadsworth, Teacher 

Youth (12 and under)

First Place - "Owen” (mixed media) by Isla Lynn

Second Place - "The Rainbow Peacock” (works on paper) by Angelyna Sorn

Third Place - "Sky View” (photography) by Ethan King

Honorable Mention - "The Sunset” (painting) by Annabelle Fath 


First Place - "Superposition” (photography) by Ryan Hummel

Second Place - "The Red Balloon” (works on paper) by Rosalyna Sorn

Third Place - "Here” (mixed media) by Marguerite Kroening 

About the National Arts Program

The National Arts Program fosters creativity by providing artists of all ages, backgrounds and levels of talent an opportunity to exhibit their works publicly. The National Arts Program Foundation, Inc. sponsors the program in support and cooperation with the Arts & Science Council, the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Similar programs sponsored by the National Arts Program Foundation take place in approximately 86 venues in 38 states each year. Local professional artists and art professionals judge the exhibit. Cash awards are given to participants for original, creative contributions in the field of fine arts and crafts. 

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