Art students reach for success at competition


Photo Courtesy of Mira Valentino

The winners of the Women’s Club Art Competition from Wake Field High School

Wakefield opened its art program up to new opportunities in the Women’s Club State Art Competition, a local students art festival co-sponsored by the Women’s Club and Junior’s Women’s Club of Raleigh. From mid-January to March, the Women’s Club State Art Competition took multiple works from students and judged them within several categories ranging from acrylic oil painting to glass craft.

16 Wakefield students participated in this event, submitting a sum of 50 pieces. If their work placed first or second, the work gets moved up to the district level. If it places first in districts, the piece was judged at states.

“The outcome of the Women’s Club Art show was one we truly feel proud of here at Wakefield,” Advanced Visual Arts teacher Dawn Valentino said. “We have had some state winners in the past, but never four at once, and this is the first time we have had a ‘Best in Show.’”

As non-art students look at the achievements of art students, they may be become inspired and seek to partake in one of the various art classes Wakefield offers

— Gooding

Although it’s not the first time that Wakefield has participated in this competition, this year’s students excelled. Art students plan to attend this competition next year as well as the two annual art shows held at school and North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union art program.  Abagail Ledet, Wakefield senior and competitor, has not competed in this competition before and figured she’d try it out.

“It showed me that I should try things even when I think I’m not going to win, because you never know what’s going to happen,” Ledet said.

Her winning piece, “Stitchman” earned her a monetary reward.

Freshman art teacher, Sara King, also helped students participate and prepare for this competition. King’s student, Leah Gooding, featured a piece that she made in class: a self-portrait made from denim on a canvas.

“We have some very talented students here and I love that they got the recognition they deserve,” King said.

King is incredibly supportive of all the students pursuing art and sees bright futures for those going into the field.

“I think any time students have this kind of exposure, either as a participant or as an observer, it encourages them to participate in more opportunities like this or to sign up for art classes,” King said.

Gooding is also pleased with the outcome as well. Her denim self-portrait won first place in the fabric category. She also contributed a charcoal drawing of a girl that she entered into the charcoal category.

“As non-art students look at the achievements of art students, they may be become inspired and seek to partake in one of the various art classes Wakefield offers,” Gooding said. “Likewise, students’ success in these art competitions is beneficial in pursuing art as a career and in college.”

Valentino is overjoyed with how the competition went and raves about the school’s success in the arts.

“Well, obviously we rocked. Out of thousands of pieces submitted, we ended up with five top prizes,” Valentino said. “That is seriously impressive, and I am super proud of the diversity of art and craft in our program at Wakefield and of course of these spectacular artists.”