Abilene Education Foundation (AEF) is proud to present the 10th Anniversary of the AEF Young Masters Juried Art Exhibition, which will run from March 31-April 1 at The Grace Museum in downtown Abilene. The artwork will then be displayed at Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union, 3849 Antilley Road, from April 17-May 19. The awards ceremony is open by invitation to students and their parents, area art educators, community art supporters and the media. The ceremony is set for Thursday, March 30, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at The Grace Museum.
The juried art competition offers every Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art student in Abilene ISD an opportunity to have artwork selected for a museum exhibition and to compete for valuable college scholarships. The exhibition is a collaborative effort by AEF, Abilene ISD, and The Grace Museum and will feature works from 45 students. All paintings and photography for the show have been professionally framed. The goals of the exhibition are to celebrate young master artists and their dedicated teachers for demonstrating excellence in artistic expression and education and to recognize that outstanding artistic expression with a quality museum exhibition. In honor of the 10th Anniversary, a combined total of $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded to the Best in Show and all top winners. Two new awards will be presented this year, including a one-on-one Master Class with professional artist Mr. Bill Wright and a scholarship in honor of the beloved retired art teacher Martha Kiel, who taught in AISD for 34 years.
“The Young Masters Juried Art Exhibition Program celebrates the artwork of some of the best high school artists in our community,” said Marianne Wood, Chair of the Young Masters Committee. “As Chair, it has been a blessing to serve during this 10th anniversary year which, fortunately, incorporates a new scholarship in honor of my first and best-beloved art teacher, Martha Kiel.”
Over the past 10 years, AEF has showcased the impressive works of 421 students across AISD, awarding 82 scholarships, for a total award amount of $68,100, providing financial assistance toward students’ pursuit of higher education. A color catalog and CD will be presented to all artists selected for the show so they will have permanent documentation for their portfolio. The students will also be able to use the catalog and professional photography of their work as an important part of their college application submissions if they choose to pursue higher education in visual arts. AP Studio Art teachers for AISD are Amanda Baldwin, Jason Clements, Sherry Griffith, Elizabeth Joy, Marsha Morgan and April Rifenburg. Final judging for this year’s event is professional artist Marshall Harris of Fort Worth. Funding for Young Masters comes from several individuals, foundations, and corporations, including a grant from HeArts for the Arts with the Abilene Cultural Arts Affairs Council.
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