By Hannah Curran, Editor-in-Chief
CLAY – A Grade 10 student from Clay-Chalkville High School (CCHS) has won the high school division’s Youth Art Month flag design contest.
Akyra Tuck was one of four winners of the Youth Art Month flag design contest. The deadline to submit works was December 31, 2021, then vThe note came at the next Alabama Art Education Association board meeting in mid-January. JThe winners were announced on January 27, 2022.
Tuck’s victory marks the fifth year that the CCHS won the High School Division or Overall State Winner categories for this competition.
Tuck said she had had never participated in a competition before, so she thought it would be interesting to participate, and she saw it as an opportunity to broaden her skills. His inspiration comes from the works of other students.
“I was mostly inspired by the artwork around the classroom,” Tuck said. “Whenever we did an assignment in art class, I would sit in my chair and just look around the class, and an idea would usually pop up.”
Tuck named his work a “colored world” because a world without art would not be colorful. However, she did not think she would win because many talented artists participated in the contest.
“It makes me more confident in my artwork and inspires me to do more with my artwork and become even better,” Tuck said.
Ashley Culwell, professor of visual arts at CCHS, said that as Tuck’s art teacher, she is proud to have been part of his “creative and academic path.
“Akyra is a gentle soul who is also a creative force,” Culwell said. “She is smart, talented and has so much to offer the world. I am thrilled that our community can see a small part of what it is capable of accomplishing.
Culwell explained how simple the submission process was for the contest.
“Youth Art Month Flag Design Contest submissions are done digitally, only a photo of your artwork, entry form and release form are required,” Culwell said. “The Art Department encourages faculty and staff to participate in the voting process to determine the top three works of art that will be sent to the state level for consideration.
In the CCHS alone, around 130 students entered the competition, but only the top three entries per school can be submitted for consideration.
“I believe it is important for CCHS to participate in this competition, as it is another testament to the abundance of talent our students possess,” said Culwell. “The Youth Art Month program emphasizes the value of art education for all children, encourages support for quality school art programs and promotes the safety of art materials. Youth Art Month also provides a forum to recognize skills developed through visual arts experiences that are not possible in other curriculum subjects. CCHS’ participation in this competition demonstrates that we recognize and champion the importance of arts education in our school.
Culwell explained that CCHS strives to celebrate and serve “every student, every day”.
“For Akyra to have this opportunity and represent CCHS is an honor, and we are very proud of her,” Culwell said. “This victory only reinforces the fact that CCHS has insurmountable talent that comes from all academic fields.”
Tuck not only makes his community and school proud, but also his parents, who never doubted his creative abilities, and continue to push for greatness.
“My parents never doubted my artwork, so they kind of expected it and told me it was good work and I should work even harder to achieve my goals,” Tuck said.