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GMC Prep Art Students Display Work in Atlanta and Win Big in Photography Contest

March is Youth Art Month and Georgia Military College Prep School is celebrating with two art students from GMC Prep being selected to represent their school for their outstanding artistic talents at the state’s largest student art exhibit in February to kick off Youth Art Month. It is the premier event for Youth Art Month, with a purpose to share the exceptional creative ability of Georgia’s art students with legislators and the public.

The Georgia Art Education Association (GAEA) is a professional organization of art educators that are affiliated with the National Art Education Association. GAEA members are able to select two students to exhibit their work at the Capitol Art Exhibit, and Major Paige Barlow, Art Director and teacher at GMC Prep, chose Wyatt Baugh and Logan Mitchem to exhibit their work for what Barlow credits their talent, passion, and work ethic. Baugh, a seventh grader, was selected after winning the ‘best in show’ award at GMC Prep School’s first annual Fine Arts Exhibit in December. His winning artwork was a portrait of his father in uniform, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force.  Mitchem, a freshman at GMC Prep, won a second place award for her pencil value drawing of Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, President of GMC. Both drawings were created for a Veteran’s Day Portrait project to honor our communities’ veterans. Both pieces were displayed in the Twin Towers building in front of the Capitol in Atlanta from February 19- February 23.
The Georgia Youth Art Month theme this year is “Happy,” and the national theme is “Building Community Through the Arts.” Barlow says she believes both Baugh and Mitchem’s artwork displayed that theme.

"Logan and Wyatt's art were more specifically based on the national youth art month theme:  building community through the arts,” Barlow said. “I was inspired by President George Bush's book Portraits of Courage where he paid tribute to American warriors by painting portraits of them. He was able to get to know veterans who served under him during his presidency while studying portrait painting. I thought it would be amazing to have our visual art students get to know the veterans at Georgia Military College Prep School. Logan and Wyatt learned how to capture realism in their portraits of President Caldwell and LTC Frank Baugh (USAF, retired). The art students’ portrait project incorporated art and history while simultaneously making veterans real and human to students. The lesson provided the students with not only the knowledge of creating a portrait, but also connecting to humanity by realizing, in deeper meaning, what a veteran experienced while they were in service. It was a powerful lesson. Logan mastered pencil values in her portrait and Wyatt mastered the facial expression of his father in his portrait."

After showcasing their talent at the Capitol Arts Show in Atlanta, another Georgia Military College Prep student was recognized for her artwork. The Plaza Arts Center in Eatonton sponsored their 9th Annual Photography Contest and Exhibition March 3-9. Out of 290 entries, Georgia Military College Prep School had 3 out of 4 winners in the junior category. First Place went to Aryanna Lawson, a senior at GMC Prep, for her photograph titled, “Under the Weather.” She won $30 for her first place. Third Place went to Allie Kauzlarich, also a senior at GMC Prep, for her photo, “Pretty Pink Roses.” Morgan Prosser, a freshman at GMC Prep, was awarded 4th place for a photo of a daylily titled, “After the Rain.” Barlow says she’s proud of her students for taking the lessons they learn in class and using them on a broader scale.

"I am thrilled with the number of students who participated in the photography contest in Eatonton.  They have excelled at incorporating the use of the elements and principles of art in their artwork,” Barlow said. “For the contest they had a lot of options for the categories that they could choose from to photograph. Aryanna's first place photograph was artistically creative because of her viewpoint looking up into the umbrella and seeing the blue sky, clouds, and rays of sun through the clear part of the umbrella. She explored editing techniques to emphasize the raindrops on the umbrella. Her title "Under the Weather" also grabbed the attention of the viewer. Allie's pink flower portrait captures the beauty of the flowers. She did an exceptional job zooming in and cropping the photos to place a greater focal point on the arrangement. Morgan use the rule of thirds to balance her photo and crop it well. I am proud of the techniques and success of their awards in their first ever photography contest."

Barlow says the work these students have put in helps to develop GMC Prep’s art program beyond the reach of Milledgeville.

"Being able to exhibit artwork at the Capitol Art Show in Atlanta and the Photography Show in Eatonton has exposed to the GMC Prep visual art students to artwork across the state of Georgia,” Barlow said. “I am ecstatic about their accomplishments! At the Capitol Art Show they were able to share their talents with senators and representatives to advocate the importance of art and how it effects their lives. Both exhibits help give students a sense of pride when they see their artwork professionally exhibited in the community. They are able to share their talents and tell a story to the viewer about what they are wanting to express.  I feel that the accomplishments of these students will encourage other students to participate in more art exhibits in the community to tell their story through art. I am excited to explore more ways to display art in Milledgeville, the state of Georgia, and perhaps nationally."

Congratulations to all these exceptional students!