Local student wins national art competition

Published 1:39 pm Monday, January 7, 2019


Kevan McClaflin, a 12th grader from Shelby County who attends Alabama School of Fine Arts, was chosen as a winner in the 2019 National YoungArts Foundation competition. YoungArts identifies and nurtures the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts and assists them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. McClaflin won for Visual Arts, which he studies at ASFA.

Selected from thousands of applications and representing artists from 44 states, YoungArts winners gain access to one of the most comprehensive programs for emerging artists in the United States, offering financial, professional and artistic development opportunities over the course of their careers.

Selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, the 2019 winners represent the top 10 percent of applications.

McClaflin traveled to Miami for an expense-paid trip to participate in the 38th annual National YoungArts Week from Jan. 6–13. It is the organization’s signature program and aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and community while offering finalists the guidance needed to prepare for the next stage of their artistic development. During the free, weeklong intensive, artists across 10 disciplines participate in master classes and workshops with internationally recognized leaders in their fields, such as Ansin Stewart Master Teacher Gavin Creel and Florence Stern Memorial Master Teacher Wendy Whelan. Throughout the week, Finalists’ work was further adjudicated to determine additional award levels.

“On behalf of YoungArts, I want to congratulate all of the 2019 winners for their achievements at such an early stage in their careers,” said Sarah Arison, YoungArts board chair. “We believe that every artist should be empowered to pursue a life in the arts, and we are excited to welcome our winners to the YoungArts family. This is just the beginning and we look forward to helping provide them with the valuable opportunities and support they will need to thrive throughout their artistic journeys.”

The Alabama School of Fine Arts is a tuition-free, public middle and high school for grades seventh-12th with specialty instruction in one of six areas of study: creative writing, dance, math-science, music, theatre arts and visual arts. Admission is by audition only and limited boarding facilities are available. For more information on the Alabama School of Fine Arts, go to Asfaschool.org.