Largest Community Art Exhibit ‘ArtQuest’ is Thursday at Southern High


A crowd gathers at ArtQuest 2013. Expect to see some amazing works by these young people.

The 17th annual ArtQuest student art exhibition is Thursday at Southern High School in Harwood. According to organizer and Southern High art department chair, Michael Bell, the event is the largest, most community-inclusive student art exhibition in Maryland.

And it is free to the public. It happens Thursday, April 24, 7 p.m.

ArtQuest not only includes the work of students at the high school, but also the work of middle school students from Southern Middle along with student art work from the four feeder elementary schools (Deale, Lothian, Shady Side and Traceys). It is a great opportunity for students and their families to familiarize themselves with the wider school community.

The students’ most coveted award, “Best in Show” will be the most coveted prize, according to Bell. A close second is the “People’s Choice” award. Each vote costs $2, with the net of proceeds going to the winner of the People’s Choice prize. Cast your vote by 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss out on head football coach Russ Meyers’ famous “Coach’s Choice” award.


The artwork on this year’s ArtQuest T-shirts. For sale at the event.

Bell said that the featured juror this year will be Katie Emmitt, a 2010 graduate of Southern High and Best in Show winner. She was also the National Arts Honor Society president and the senior class vice president. She was the first-ever recipient of the National Arts Education Association’s Rising Star Award, presented annually to just one student in the nation. Among Emmitt’s other accolades, she won first place in the All County senior show, first place in the Quiet Waters All County show and earned over $300,000 in art scholarship offers.

Emmitt received her BFA in paining from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014 and is currently an artist based in Baltimore. Learn more about her artwork here.

At ArtQuest, you can also learn more about Bell’s fifth Rising Star award winner, Zoe Kasprzyk. This year the school will also boast 66 Scholastic Arts Regional award winners and five National Scholastic Arts medalists.

Bell said, “Andy Warhol won a Scholastic Arts Award when he was in high school, so it’s a pretty big deal!”

Also at the event, the Muddy Creek Artist’s Guild annual scholarship awards will be announced.

Bell said that if you see a student’s artwork that you like, be sure to make the student an offer they can’t refuse.

Southern High School is located at 4400 Solomons Island Road in Harwood.


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