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Gold Key winner Simone Pelley, ‘Succulent,’ Croatan High School

CARTERET COUNTY — Art students from the county’s three public high schools made their mark in the recent 2023 Eastern/Central North Carolina Scholastic Art Awards.

Croatan High School, East Carteret High School and West Carteret High School had students place with honors in this prestigious art competition that involves students from 50 counties, spanning from Winston-Salem to the coast, contending for top honors in the visual arts.

Students digitally submit their artwork in one of 17 categories to a panel of six professional artists who judge the artwork and then decide who is awarded Gold Keys, Silver Keys and honorable mention.

Gold Keys are considered the very best in their category and are automatically considered for national level recognition. Works receiving Silver Keys are acknowledged for being standout pieces demonstrating exceptional ability, and honorable mention recipients demonstrate great skill and potential. Five Gold Key works across all categories and grades are selected as Best in Show and receive recognition and a medal as being an American Vision nominee.

Carteret County had six students garner seven Gold Keys. They are: Croatan’s Simone Pelley (two Gold Keys) and Skylar Brown. East Carteret’s Anna Swinson won a Gold Key in animation. and West Carteret’s Hunter Klott, Kayden Lemons and Emily Sciortino won Gold Keys.

Twelve Silver Keys were awarded, with nine additional students receiving honorable mention.

The Scholastic Art Awards are in their 97th year of recognizing the vision, ingenuity and talent of the nation’s youth, seventh through 12th grade. The awards have encouraged more than 12 million student participants, recognized more than 2 million young artists and distributed more than $30 million in awards and scholarships.

Regional Gold and Silver Key winners will have their artwork on exhibit at East Carolina University (ECU) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday from Feb. 3 to 24. An artist reception and awards ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Speight Auditorium in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center on the campus of ECU.

Earlier in the day, ECU will host teacher and student art workshops for the winning students and their teachers. A reception will be held following the awards presentation in Gray Gallery from 3 to 5 p.m.

2023 Eastern/Central North Carolina Scholastic Art Award Winners for Carteret County

Croatan High School

Teacher: Jody Stouffer.

Gold Key winners:

Skylar Brown, “Rose” – drawing.

Simone Pelley, “Mockingbird” – drawing.

Simone Pelley, “Succulent” – drawing.

Silver Key winners:

Mackenzie Moyer, “Balance” – photography.

Ayla Zales, “Tudor Cottage” - architecture/industrial design.

Honorable Mentions:

Christina Brannen, “Reflections” – portfolio of six pieces of artwork and only seniors may enter.

Gracie Anklam, “Shady Lady” – drawing.

Avery Maddix, “Champagne Glass” – drawing.

East Carteret High School

Teacher: Michael Rhinehardt.

Gold Key winners:

Anna Swinson, "Epilogue" - film and animation.

Honorable Mention:

Maggie Murray, “15 Going Under” – drawing.

West Carteret High School

Teachers: Amber Kocher and Catherine Olander.

Gold Key winners:

Hunter Klott, “A Quiet Place” - photography.

Kayden Lemons, “Me” – drawing.

Emily Sciortino, “Plastic Ocean” – photography.

Silver Key winners:

Izzy Cascamisi, “Harmonized Chaos” – photography.

Conner Fulcher, “Purgatorio” - digital art.

Hunter Klott, “Sunrise Calling” – photography.

Jewelianna Kyle, “Schlump” – photography.

Mary Frances Ramsey, “Two Wolves” – printmaking.

Jaysa Raynor, “Shy” – photography.

Emily Sciortino, “My Backyard” – photography.

Sarah Tell, “Guard of the Night” – photography.

Alex Vazquez, “Me” – drawing.

Katherine Wright, “Self Portrait” - drawing.

Honorable Mention:

Sara Brown, “Light the Way” – drawing.

Addi Crowder, “The Bookshelf” – photography.

Jaysa Raynor, “Lonely” – printmaking.

Jewel Williamson, “Portrait” – drawing.

Maria Windsor, “Restless” – painting.

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