Liberty County High School hosted their annual art festival Thursday, showcasing the students’ artistic talent.
Paintings, drawings and mixed-media artwork lined the display wall in the school’s media center for community members, families and friends to peruse.
Students also exhibited musical and dance talents during a drama presentation, jazz band, chorus and Spanish-cultural performances.
“This event shows the community how important the arts are,” said Marjett Schille, head of the art department. “It also gives our students an opportunity to shine in a way that they may not otherwise have had the opportunity.”
The school’s fine arts and foreign language students presented all the festival’s activities.
The student’s also participated in a juried art contest before the art festival, which was judged by local artist Judy Hughes. First-, second- and third-place prizes were awarded in five categories: painting, drawing, mixed media, fiber art and 3-dimensional art work.
The fine-arts department can help students create something out of their feelings, emotions and concerns, Schille said. Through this process, students can share these emotions or concerns with their peers and elders.
“(Art) helps me tune out ... when I work on an art project, I can just tune out the rest of the world,” said Evangelyn Byczkoski, a ninth-grader at the school.
Evangelyn, who received second prize for her drawing art piece, has enjoyed creating art since she was a child and plans to study fashion design after high school.
“If you want to go into art in the future, events like the art fest introduce her to the field,” said her mother, Rebecca Byczkoski. “These events encourage her to keep working on her talent and to express herself.”
This is the ninth year for the festival, and the event grows each year. A poetry contest was added to the festivities for the first time this year, and next year the step team might participate, Schille said.
Students from New Liberty Career Academy also participated by designing the festival poster.
Art-fest participants also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite artwork. Dejah Smith, a ninth-grader, won the people’s choice award for her mixed-media piece “Paem,” which was created with paint and glue.
“I am so surprised I won,” she said. “I didn’t place in the juried contest.”
Schille believes that the competition is a good learning experience.
“I tell my students, sometimes I enter a show and win, and other times the same piece isn’t even get accepted into another show,” she said. “You do it because you love it, and if you win that is just icing on the cake.”