By Hannah Curran, Editor
CLAY — A Clay-Chalkville High School (CCHS) 10th graders won the High School Division Youth Art Month Flag Design Contest.
Akyra Tuck was one of four winners of the Youth Art Month Flag Design Contest. The deadline to submit artwork was December 31, 2021, and then voting occurred at the following Alabama Art Education Association board meeting in mid-January. The winners were announced on January 27, 2022.
Tuck’s win marks the fifth year that CCHS has won either the High School Division or Overall State Winner categories for this contest.
Tuck said she had never been in a contest before, so she thought it would be interesting to participate, and she saw it as an opportunity to expand her skills. Her inspiration comes from other students’ artwork.
“I was mostly inspired by the artwork around the classroom,” Tuck said. “Whenever we did an assignment in art class, I would sit in my chair and just look around the classroom, and an idea usually pops up.”
Tuck named her artwork a “Colorful World” because a world without art would not be colorful. However, she did not think she would win because many talented artists participated in the contest.
“It makes me feel more confident in my artwork and inspires me to do more with my artwork and become even better,” Tuck said.
Ashley Culwell, Visual Arts Teacher at CCHS, said that as Tuck’s art teacher, she is proud to have been a part of her “creative and academic journey.”
“Akyra is a sweet soul who is also a creative force,” Culwell said. “She is smart, talented, and has so much to offer the world. I am thrilled our community is able to see a small part of what she is able to accomplish.”
Culwell explained how simple the submission process was for the contest.
“Youth Art Month Flag Design Contest submissions happen digitally, only a photo of your artwork, entry form, and release form is required,” Culwell said. “The Art Department encourages faculty and staff to assist in the voting process to determine the top three artworks that will be sent to the state level for consideration.”
In CCHS alone, around 130 students participated in the contest, but only the top three entries per school may be submitted for consideration.
“I believe it to be important for CCHS to be involved in this contest because it is yet another testimony to the abundance of talent that our students have,” Culwell said. “The Youth Art Month Program emphasizes the value of art education for all children, encourages support for quality school art programs and promotes art material safety. Youth Art Month also provides a forum for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences that are not possible in other curriculum subjects. CCHS’s participation in this contest attests to us acknowledging and advocating the importance of art education in our school.”
Culwell explained that CCHS strives to celebrate and serve “Every Student, Every Day.”
“For Akyra to have this opportunity and to represent CCHS is an honor, and we are so proud of her,” Culwell said. “This win only solidifies the fact that CCHS has unsurmountable talent that comes from all academic areas.”
Tuck not only makes her community and school proud but also her parents, who never doubted her creative abilities, and continue to push to strive for greatness.
“My parents never doubted my artwork, so they kind of expected it and told me good job and I should work even harder to get to my goals,” Tuck said.