Young artists recognized at SCAC exhibit

Published 10:45 am Thursday, April 28, 2022

By SCOTT MIMS | Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Arts Council opened its doors to young artists once again for the 2022 statewide high school juried art exhibit.

A total of 213 students in grades 10-12 submitted more than 360 works of art, from which judges Jillian Marie Browning of UAB and Jason Tanner Young of the University of Montevallo selected 55 pieces to be shown in the gallery.

The closing gallery reception and award ceremony for the exhibit were held Sunday, April 24 with Lynzie Liddell of Briarwood Christian taking Best in Show for her drawing “Captivated.”

“We seek to engage artists on every level that we can and build an arts community in any way that we can,” SCAC Executive Director Bruce Andrews said. “In this case, it’s young artists, high school artists, who may not be able to see ‘How might I make a living at that?’ or ‘What is the next level activity for me as an artist?’ We’re giving them a preview of that with this show.”

Other winners were as follows: Zaida Noles-Ross of the Alabama School of Fine Arts for “Calamitous” (Best in 3D Design); Merritt Crumpton of the Alabama School of Fine Arts for “A Pocket Full of Posies” (Best in Drawing); Meghan Luttrell of St. Paul’s Episcopal High School for “The Girls in the Neighborhood” (Best in Mixed Media); Val Michael of the Alabama School of Fine Arts for “Prying Dispositions” (Best in Painting); Jayden Robinson of Booker T. Washington Magnet High School for “Concealed” (Best in Photography);  Reilly DeShazo of Oak Mountain High School for “The Beauty in Breaking” (Staff Choice Award); and  Mia Dunlap of The Altamont School for “Octopus” (Executive Director’s Choice).

There were five honorable mentions including Stella Duren of St. Paul’s Episcopal High School for “Specimen 0210” (3D Design); Grace Galvin of Briarwood Christian for “iSpy” (Drawing); Tishunti Poon of Alabama School of Fine Arts for “I wish I didn’t remember…” (Mixed Media); Emilio Aparicio of Thompson High School for “Desert Silhouettes” (Painting); and Desiree Senn of Booker T. Washington Magnet High School for “Cinematic” (Photography).

SCAC Art Education Coordinator Lindsay Dyess said the competition allows young artists to experience the selection process of a real show, with both the opportunity to win recognition and monetary prizes, as well as the importance of learning criticism in the art world.

“It’s just an exercise in submitting the work, and we let them know whether or not they made it into the show, so I think that’s something important to learn,” Dyess said. “That’s what I learned from being an artist was how to take criticism. That’s the best thing I learned in school.”

Andrews and Dyess added that the show affords an opportunity to many students across the state who are in smaller schools that might not offer an arts program.

“We do offer it to every high school 10th through 12th grade artist in the state, but there are some we haven’t been able to reach out to,” Andrews said. “If somebody wishes they were in it, they just need to email us and make sure they’re on our email list for next year. It’s an annual show.”

Andrews and Dyess wished to thank the exhibit’s sponsors, UAB’s Department of Art and Art History, the University of Montevallo’s Department of Art, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama’s Caring Foundation.

See the gallery online at, or stream the awards presentation on the Shelby County Arts Council YouTube channel. For more information or to contact SCAC, visit