New Beginnings exhibition honors art by Savannah-area students

20th annual exhibit goes virtual to highlight promising young artists

click to enlarge Art by Avery Sullivan - PHOTO COURTESY OF SCCPSS
Photo courtesy of SCCPSS
Art by Avery Sullivan
An annual showcase to highlight outstanding artworks by students across Savannah and Chatham County is carrying on virtually this year, as the New Beginnings Youth Art Exhibition features over 125 entries of diverse images that can be viewed online in a 3D gallery space.

Presented by The Links, Inc., the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, and Savannah’s municipal government, the 20th-annual New Beginnings exhibit is a fascinating collection of artworks by middle- and high-school students from across the county. Appropriately based on the theme “Visual Art in a Virtual World,” this year’s exhibit was launched with a Feb. 23 virtual opening reception featuring speakers commending the participating artists, teachers, and sponsors.

“The level of the entries this year was nothing short of spectacular,” said Carol Bell of The Links, Inc. “It’s a great honor to chair this competition in conjunction with Black History Month.”

click to enlarge Art by Amy Oh - PHOTO COURTESY OF SCCPSS
Photo courtesy of SCCPSS
Art by Amy Oh
Other honored guests at the virtual reception included Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, SCCPSS Superintendent Ann Levett, and Joe Buck, president of the Board of Public Education for the SCCPSS. “We are proud of the talented students who participated in this exhibit,” Levett said. “Congratulations to everyone who had a part in putting this together.”

click to enlarge Art by Brcok Betters - PHOTO COURTESY OF SCCPSS
Photo courtesy of SCCPSS
Art by Brcok Betters
Rosemary Dodson, the SCCPSS program coordinator for visual arts, managed the competition and created the virtual exhibition space, which can be visited online via the abbreviated web address.

click to enlarge Art by Tijuana Heyward - PHOTO COURTESY OF SCCPSS
Photo courtesy of SCCPSS
Art by Tijuana Heyward
“This was a unique year,” Dodson said. “We had to come up with a way to share all the work in a virtual environment. The exhibit is interactive and engaging.”

The competition awards first-, second-, and third-place prizes in both high-school and middle-school divisions, as well as a “Best in Show” award. The winners of the competition for 2020 are: BEST OF SHOW: Avery Sullivan, Savannah Arts Academy HIGH SCHOOL: 1st Place – Mojdah Asimi, Savannah Arts Academy; 2nd Place – Amy Oh, Savannah Arts Academy; 3rd Place – Giselle Berrien, Johnson High School

MIDDLE SCHOOL: 1st Place – Elizaveta Kalacheva, Garrison; 2nd Place – Brock Betters, West Chatham Middle School; 3rd Place – Tijuana Heyward, West Chatham Middle School

“Art opens many doors for our young students,” said Angela Young, President of the Savannah Chapter of The Links, Inc. cs

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