2022 Arts Festival

Inaugural Weakley County Schools Arts Festival Celebrates All Things Art
Posted on 05/03/2022
This is the image for the news article titled Inaugural Weakley County Schools Arts Festival Celebrates All Things ArtSunshine made for a great backdrop to a day of celebrating Weakley County Schools’ talent. From the outdoor stage offering music and theater to indoors at the Martin Event Center where the space was transformed into a pop up art gallery, the Weakley County Schools Arts Festival on Saturday focused on spotlighting students who are a part of a growing arts community.

Beginning at 11 a.m., Dresden High School pop band ROAR took the stage with ten instrumentalists and vocalists joining director and teacher Jacob Abbott for the first of two musical sets ranging from B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” to Blink 182’s “All the Small Things.” Next up was a Westview clarinet ensemble playing Irish folk songs. Then the stage went back in time with members of the Weakley Playhouse in full costume for a scene from Romeo and Juliet. After a Westview saxophone ensemble regaled with American folk songs, ROAR returned to close out before art show winners were announced inside.

Weakley County Schools Director Randy Frazier served as the emcee for the art show ceremony. Prior to announcing the countywide winners, he praised the students’ work, also on display, which earned honorable mentions for having secured submission as school winners. He then went on to announce the following:

Photography – 3rd place
Pre-K – 2: Barnes Bragg, “A Long Day’s Work” – Martin Primary
3rd – 5th: Ivy Grace Snider, “Animal” - Gleason
6th – 8th: Carson Gibson, “A Green Landing” – Martin Middle

Photography – 2nd place
Pre-K – 2: Boone Hampton, “Sunrise” - MPS
3rd – 5th: Emmitt Bragg, “Triple B Farms” – Martin Elementary
6th – 8th: McKinley Harrison, “Life in the Ocean” - MMS

Photography – 1st place
Pre-K – 2: Caisley Smith, “Secret Lagoon” - MPS
3rd – 5th: Clark Stephens, “Bridge of the Evening” - MES
6th – 8th: Kaylynn Pearce, “Life” - MMS
9th – 12th: Amber Parker, “Guardian Angel” - Gleason

Painting – 3rd place
Pre-K – 2: Katie Edwards, “Violin” - MPS
3rd – 5th: Mariana Ivansic, “Fruit Galore” - MES
6th – 8th: Allie Rogers, “Two Ghosts in the Place of You and Me” - MMS
9th – 12th: Akeisha Chua, “Little Boy’s Balloons” - Westview

Painting – 2nd place
Pre-K – 2: Travis Bailey, “The Raven” - Gleason
3rd – 5th: Ella Murphy, “The Rainy Day” - MES
6th – 8th: Natalie Copeland, “Night Memories” - MMS
9th – 12th: Megan Totty, “Transcendentalism” - Westview

Painting – 1st place
Pre-K – 2: Greyson Stout, “Plant Attack” - MPS
3rd – 5th: Liv Killebrew, Untitled, DES
6th – 8th: Millie Kemp, “Apple in Hand” - DMS
9th – 12th: Akeisha Chua, “The World Is Cruel But I Still Love You” - Westview

3D/Mixed Media – 3rd place
Pre-K – 2: Persie Foster, “The Erupting Volcano” - Gleason
3rd – 5th: Micah Luddeke, Untitled – DES
6th – 8th: Lyric Mullins, “Gerald and Tiger” – MMS

3D/Mixed Media – 2nd place
Pre-K – 2: Kinley Trevathan, “The Camping Site” - Gleason
3rd – 5th: Jaxon Luddeke, Untitled - DES
6th – 8th: Sabrina Vieyra, “Cat Face” – DMS

3D/Mixed Media – 1st place
Pre-K – 2: Faith Nobles, Untitled - DES
3rd – 5th: Clark Stephens, “King of the Sea” – MES
6th – 8th: Sicily Kelly, “Beautiful Flower” - MMS
9th – 12th: Brandon Bonilla, “The Brandon Mug” - Greenfield

Drawing – 3rd place
Pre-K – 2: Persie Foster, “The Singing Birds and Giraffe” - Gleason
3rd – 5th: Pierson Virgin, “Cave Man” - MES
6th – 8th: Lydia Moore, “Sass” - MMS
9th – 12th: David Rivera, “Perspective” - Westview

Drawing – 2nd place
Pre-K – 2: Maisy Dodson, “Dragon Chicky” - MPS
3rd – 5th: Colton Phillips, “The Aquarium” - Gleason
6th – 8th: Allie Rogers, “Eyes Blue” - MMS
9th – 12th: Elayna Loza, “The Beauty Within” - Westview

Drawing – 1st place
Pre-K – 2: Ross Jackson, “Elephants” - MPS
3rd – 5th: Emmett Zimmerman, “The Seasons” - MES
6th – 8th: Alina Vo, “Beauty in Finding Yourself” - MMS
9th – 12th: Lexia Sawyers, “Sound of Shattered Light” - Greenfield

Before announcing the winners in the new addition to the art show – the Upcycled: Guitar as Art, Frazier noted the donation was made possible due to Weakley Arts Can and their relationship with Yamaha.

“The guitar maker provides blemished or damaged guitars to schools and organizations for them to transform into visual art. Some of our Weakley County guitar artists worked with the pieces that they were given. Others had a hard time finding what exactly might be wrong with the guitar. But either individually or in a group, they indeed made art,” he explained.

More than 30 guitars were on display using exhibit pieces crafted by area FFA members. The winners by age bands are:
Guitars – Created by one individual
Elementary School – 1st Place: Aubree Simmons, “Bridge Over Otter Water” - MES
Middle School – 1st Place: Allie Rogers, “Life by the Sea” - MMS
High School – 3rd Place: Neela Hernandez, “Ghastly Music” - Westview
2nd Place: David Rivera, “Space” - Westview
1st Place: Zanda Tipton, “Don’t Be Ashamed” - Gleason

Guitars – Created by groups
Elementary: 3rd Place: Maisy Dodson, Knox Bannon, Kylie Bratton, Caisley Smith, Maclin Moore, Boone Hampton, Drake Kirk - MPS
2nd Place: All Martin Elementary Students – “The Art of Doodling”
1st Place: Abigail Owens, Claire Essary, Carson VanMeter, Charlee Sutton - DES
Middle School: 3rd Place: Alyssa Staples, Rylee Cousins, Olivia Breeden, Aubrey Hodge, “Music of the Stars” - DMS
2nd Place: Destiny Ragan, Lily-Ana Smith, “Honey Comb Bee” - DMS
1st Place: Madison Rodgers, Keira McCoy, Sabrina Vieyra, “Japanese Dream” - DMS

High School: 3rd Place: Zowie Tipton, Serenity Minard, “Frog Verse” - Gleason
2nd Place: Garrett Garner, Hayden Smith, Samuel Thum, Chandler Finch, “The Musical Dunes” - Greenfield
1st Place: Destanie Dean, Mavree Craig, “Music Within the Walls” – DHS

Distributing the prize packages was County Mayor Jake Bynum, who announced that the first place winners would get an extended stay in the spotlight.

“We have been watching the art show grow from year to year and this year we extended the invitation to continue to keep the first place winners visible to the community. So, following the festival, we will be transporting the first place winners to the Weakley County Courthouse where they will be on exhibit through the end of June. We look forward to sharing this talent with the county for the weeks ahead,” he shared.

Frazier commended the work of area teachers of the arts and festival coordinators Amber Wharton who curated the art show and Pam Sliger who oversaw the performance stage. He called attention to the exhibit pieces and metal signage which were crafted by FFA students across the county. He also expressed appreciation to event sponsors Weakley Arts Can; the City of Martin who donated the use of the space and staff assistance from Tim Barrington, Christopher Pinto, and Duncan Hollis; Discovery Park of America; donors Sandy and Martha Edinger; and guitar maker Yamaha.

“We’ve come a long way from the first art show at the Personal Development Center back in 2020 where we only focused on visual art,” Frazier noted. “With the addition of the stage this year and the chance to utilize this beautiful facility, we are truly celebrating the arts and look forward to doing so for many years to come.”

band members on stage wearing yellow t-shirts promoting the band
Dresden High School’s pop band ROAR launched the outdoor performances at Saturday’s Weakley County Schools Arts Festival. Seen performing here are Abigail Farris, Andrew Boyd, Haley Dick, Mallory Dean, Keylee Calabrese, Hope Petersen, teacher and band director Jacob Abbott, Gabe Parker, Austin Peevyhouse. Not pictured are Nick Skarsten and Dylan Workman. ROAR’s next performance is Friday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Dresden Farmers Market as part of the Iris Festival.

four clarinet players face each other while playing on stage
Music teacher Rebecca Steele worked with two ensemble groups to provide music for the festival. First up were clarinetists (left to right) Amy Kang, Azaria Rooks, Bryson Boyd, and Alina Armega. They performed a collection of Irish folk songs.

four saxophone players on stage
Westview saxophonists (left to right) Samantha Bates, Akeisha Chua, and Alyssa Chua along with Westview alum Daniel Capua offered a set of American folk songs and Shenandoah.

many actors in costumes stand on and around stage with brick wall behind them, all dressed in costumes from Romeo and Juliet
Weakley Playhouse brought Romeo and Juliet to the celebration of the arts. Seen here in the scene recreated from their upcoming production that begins May 6 are (left to right) Betsy Mantooth, Kayleigh Hilt, Atlantis Taylor, Michael Moon, Stanley Dean, Abbey Buchanan, Taylor Longacre, Jeremiah Britt, Drew Callahan, Director Martin Kane, Tori Ary, Nathan Reese, Sam Butero, Avery Rogers, Neela Hernandez, Lydia Thorsen, Gryphon Rowland. Not visible but performing were Bryson Boyd, Abigail Collie, Lizzie Ostenson, Emily Kelley, Katelin Rutledge, Matthew Moon, Samantha Hurt, Zanda Tipton, Zowie Tipton, Hayden Swaim, and Lucy Oelrich.

two women, one sitting, and one standing, hold bags of cookies that will be given away
Volunteers Carla Field and Anna Clark helped Weakley Arts Can prepare a Green Room for the artists, actors, and musicians whose work was featured at the Weakley County Schools Arts Festival. The room was set aside to honor a tradition in the arts – treating artists well in their own space during a production. Members of the Fortnightly and Kiwanis Clubs made the special treats served in the Green Room possible.

more than 50 children and teens stand in front of festival logo with the director of schools and county mayor
Nearly 150 pieces of art were on display at the countywide art show within the Weakley County Schools Arts Festival. School and county winners are seen here with Weakley County Schools Director Randy Frazier and Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum.