SEARCY, Ark. – Searcy High School art students can now see some of their works hanging in the Governor’s Mansion after having their creations selected in the Governor’s Young Artist Competition.

Among the works that Searcy High School students submitted, three won their category — including best graphite drawing, best watercolor, and best mixed media — and another three were named honorable mentions.

The annual Governor’s Young Artist Competition gives young Arkansans, grades 9 through 12, the opportunity to showcase their artistic abilities. Each year’s competition features a theme. This year’s was “The Home Within,” and asked the artists to create artwork inspired by a place, a person, a song, a smell, a sound, a memory, or anything else that evokes a sense of “home” as a place or state of being that fosters an atmosphere of living, laughing and learning.

Each teacher is allowed to submit up to 15 individual pieces. This year the competition received more than 400 works of art, of which only 100 were chosen and hung in the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Art Gallery.

Of those 100 pieces now hanging in the gallery, a total of 11 pieces were submitted by Searcy High School students.

Searcy High School art teacher Terry Hester says that his students have seen a lot of success in the competition the last four years, but this year, they did exceptionally well.

“I’m really proud of how they did,” said Terry Hester, Searcy High School Art Teacher. “I’m pretty hard on them, but they are so talented so it’s all on them for winning.”

Since not everyone can make it out to the Governor’s Mansion, especially amid the pandemic, a digital tour of the work was posted on YouTube and features all 100 pieces on exhibit. 

You don’t have to go all the way to Little Rock to see some of the work. The Searcy Fire Department wanted some new art to hang inside Station 1 and Station 2 in town. They now have 20 works of art from Searcy high School students adorning the walls, including some previously featured in the Governor’s Young Artist Competition.

The following students won in their category:

Antonio Keyes – Best Graphite Drawing – “Preaijahnea”

Canon Smith – Best Watercolor – “Siblings”

Yenifer Mora – Best Mixed Media – “La Humilde Senora de la Casa”

The following students received Honorable Mention:

Antonio Keyes – “Kane”

Megan Homeier – “Baby Belle”

Victoria Evans – “Moose”

See all the current and previous Governors Young Artist Competition Award Winners by Searcy High School Art Students.