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South Effingham puts artists in the spotlight
Art show
Reception guests inspect the works of South Effingham students in the school lobby Thursday. - photo by Photo by Birk Herrath

 GUYTON — The talent of some South Effingham art students recently escaped the obscurity of their classroom in favor of a more conspicuous place.

A total of 80 drawings, paintings and sculptures by 51 students were displayed in the school lobby Thursday through Tuesday as part of South Effingham’s first National Art Honor Society exhibition. The works, selected by art teachers Lindsey Gerow and Danielle Province, were judged by retired art instructor Marsha Lott.

“We selected the best examples,” Gerow said. “From there, the students measured and matted the works themselves. They made their own labels and helped set up the whole art show.”

Gerow and Province started picking works for the show early in the school year.

“It’s super cool stuff,” Gerow said.

The teachers’ objective is to ingrain the National Art Honor Society into South Effingham’s culture.

“Through that, we have been doing service projects like murals,” she said. “We did a gingerbread-decorating contest and this is the first art exhibit that the students have hosted.”

Excitement about art is growing at South Effingham. Gerow and Province have 183 students and 240 are expected next year.

Thirty-two students were inducted into the society Thursday.

“They were able to take the stage and receive their official certificate of membership,” Gerow said. “We corded the seniors and gave each of them a chrysanthemum, which is the flower of the honor society. The ceremony was just beautiful.

“The society has been in the school since 2006 but I don’t think there has even been an actual induction ceremony.”

A reception followed, giving the students’ parents and friends a chance to view the wide array items on display in the lobby.

“It was difficult to reduce the show to 80 works,” Gerow said.

The exhibit featured a few shockingly realistic sculptures made from toilet paper. Melanie Ripley and Makenzie Meller crafted sushi trays that looked scrumptious.

“It’s like paper mache without the adhesive,” Gerow said.

The two-dimensional contest winners were:

First place — Kayli Brinks, “Catherine”

Second place — Autumn Turgeon, “Bees”

Third place — Sophie Pawlak, “Workspace”

Fourth place — Isaiah Scott, “African Rhythm)

Fifth place — Gabriel Bucker, “King Arthur”

Sixth place — Kayla Cross, “Lavendar”

The three-dimensional winners were:

First place — Ripley, “Sushi”

Second place — Meller, “Sushi”

Third place — Madeline Fowler, “Spikey Plant”

Fourth place — Tessa Shuman, “Moon & Lotus”

Fifth place — Meghan Amaya, “Lunch”

Sixth place — Maddie Fowler, “3D”

The exhibit featured a special category called “Principal’s Choice.” It was judged by Dr. Torian White.

“He really took that honor seriously, too,” Gerow said. “It so great to have a principal who is so supportive and so into it.”

White’s picks included:

First place (2D) — Brinks, “Catherine)

Second place (2D) — Delaney Denton, “Alpine”

Third place (2D) — Scott, “Soobin”

First place (3D) — Carley Wade, “Happy Meal”

Second place (3D) — Meller, “Black Sea

Third place (3D) — Madison Abernathy, “Life Is Strange”

Several striking items weren’t judged. They were displayed in a separate area.

“And we did a Hexagon Project,” Gerow said.

The Hexagon Project is an international nonprofit visual arts initiative. Its mission is to spread the idea of interdependence through student- and community-created hexagons. Themes of social justice, peace, global citizenship, cultural diversity, identity and environment are expressed through the power of the arts.

“It’s like sharing everybody’s unique voices through art,” Gerow said. 

South Effingham’s hexagon featured 84 pieces.