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Beacon College Arts Festival Judging Beacon College art professors have invited area high schools to participate in the College’s first Arts Festival. Art teachers enthusiastically responded to this opportunity. The artwork of students and teachers from Leesburg, Tavares, Umatilla, and Mount Dora will be on exhibition on the Beacon College campus from Thursday, April 16th-Saturday, April 18th. Award winners will be announced at a public reception to be held in Burbank Hall from 4-6pm on Saturday, April 18th.
Young, talented artists are abundant in the Leesburg area, and the Beacon College Arts Festival will provide these youth an opportunity to display their work in a public venue and to receive recognition for their efforts. The winner of Best of Show in the student exhibition will receive a $300 cash prize. Other works deemed exemplary by the judging committee will be eligible for cash prizes as well.

High school art teachers have also been invited to submit their work for exhibition. Knowing that teachers often have to pay for student supplies out of their own pockets, the Beacon College Arts Festival Committee deemed gift certificates to a local art supply store the most appropriate prizes. The winner will receive a $500 gift certificate to DK Art Supply & Custom Framing, while 2nd place will take home a $300 gift certificate, and 3rd place will receive a $200 gift certificate.

The Beacon College Arts Festival Committee spent a long Sunday winnowing down the student and art teacher submissions to the best possible pieces. This task proved surprisingly difficult, considering the quality of the work submitted. Especially given that this is the first year for the event, the Committee was pleased by the quantity and range of work presented for review. Beacon College Art Professor Russ Bellamy commented, “The selection process was even more challenging than we had anticipated. We were aware of the talent these high school students possess, so we knew we would be presented with some high quality work, but space limitations meant that we also had some difficult choices to make.”

The final selections have now been made, and the gallery exhibition will be available for public viewing starting on Thursday, April 16th. The high schools will be visiting the Beacon College campus on April 16th and April 17th. Students will be able to view their work as well as that of their peers and teachers in a professional setting in advance of the Saturday reception. Beacon College professors, all of whom are professional, practicing artists, will be presenting workshops to these visiting students on these days. In Life Casting, students will learn the artistic process for casting the body, making molds of their hands. In the Glass: Process & Memory workshop, students will learn more about using glass as an artistic process, creating a unique self-portrait from a digital image. While the workshops held on Thursday and Friday will be closed to these invited high school guests, these same workshops will be offered on Saturday, free and open to the public.

You are invited to tour the gallery exhibition of the talented local students and teachers. The gallery will be open to the public from 9am-6pm each day from Thursday, April 16th through Saturday, April 18th. In addition to touring the gallery, there will also be an opportunity to participate in sidewalk chalk art and watch a food art demonstration. Beacon College art professors will be offering fun and educational workshops.

~Gretchen Dreimiller