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Weaver Academy graduate among 6 artists who will get their work on billboards in 12 counties

Weaver Academy graduate among 6 artists who will get their work on billboards in 12 counties

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A recent Weaver Academy graduate is among six artists who have won high honors in this year's ArtPop Street Gallery competition.

High in the air, that is: The art work will be displayed on six billboards throughout 12 counties over the next year. The first of the winning entries is expected to be in place by Monday.

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County announced the 2020-2021 winners on July 13.

They are:

    •  Latisha Coleman, a three-dimensional painter and freelance graphic designer, for "Bantu";

    •  Jaden Cooke, a Weaver Academy graduate who plans to attend Maryland Institute College of the Arts this fall, for "Dinner";

    • Lance Crumley, whose styles include contemporary realism, abstract, wildlife, landscape, plain air, floral and figure paintings, for "Wondrous Apparition Provided by Magician";

    • Kara Hammond, a multi-media artist who responds to contemporary issues with a historical perspective, for "Sow Justice Grow Peace";

  • Jessica Singerman, a multi-media artist, for "I must love you very much";  
  • Jessica Tefft, an artist, photographer and photojournalist, for "Toy Horse."

The billboards range in size from 10-by-30 feet to 14-by-48.

Lamar Advertising of Greensboro, one of the largest billboard companies in the world, is providing outdoor advertising space in Forsyth, Alamance, Caswell, Davie, Davidson, Guilford, Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin).

Adams Outdoor Advertising will be providing space on five digital billboards within Forsyth County. 

Tefft's piece is done in photograms, darkroom processes in which objects are laid on photosensitive paper, leaving a lighter image behind on the darkened paper when they are removed.

"It's a really special piece to me, so I'm excited about seeing it that size," Tefft said. "Photograms are one of the first things that you are taught in the darkroom. It was one of the first techniques that my mom taught to me.

"'Toy Horse' is a bit about loss and keeping going, so it's good for what we're going through right now."

The public gets to see the art for free, and ArtPop artists get visibility. More than 60 artists submitted entries for this year’s competition. 

Latisha Coleman has been a graphic designer for many years and said that she starting getting serious about her fine art about three years ago.

"I've been redefining my craft," she said.

Her piece, "Bantu," is a three-dimensional work that was photographed for the ArtPop competition.

"My work focuses on celebrating the lives of strong African American women," Coleman said. "Everything is 3D and crafted by hand. For me, it's exciting to not only see but also feel the depth of the painting when you create it by hand."

Photographer Owens Daniels, a former ArtPop winner, encourage Coleman to submit work to the program.

"He told me that it's an opportunity open to anybody. I'm excited to see my work big and in the air," she said. I'm planning to get a bottle of champagne and celebrate when it goes up."

ArtPop fosters collaborations between arts organizations and the private sector to promote the work of local artists on available media space, such as billboards.

“This collaboration with the billboard industry is one of the arts council’s most rewarding projects,” said Randy Eaddy, arts council president and chief executive. “It recognizes the talent of extraordinary visual artists in our region and places their work squarely in the public eye along our highways. In fact, it creates a ‘Street Gallery’ with countless numbers of viewers each year.”

This is the fourth collaborative partnership between ArtPop, the Triad billboard industry and the arts council. Since 2016. About 15 artists have benefited through increased exposure and sales for their artwork.

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