Six years ago, West Virginia First Lady Cathy Justice started the Student Artist Series, in which students are challenged to display their artistic abilities in a themed contest.
This year’s theme was “Create a Quarter for West Virginia” in honor of President’s Day.
All high school juniors in the state were invited to participate in the contest and to create a design that they felt symbolized West Virginia to be used on the reverse side of a quarter.
At this time, West Virginia is represented by the New River Gorge Bridge in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters program.
Students were asked to use an art medium of their choice and create a scene that included the state’s name, the year it became a state, the location depicted in the image, the current year and the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum.
Pocahontas County High School art teacher Diana Nelson used the contest as a project in her curriculum and students rose to the challenge.
Of the designs entered in the contest, three PCHS students were selected in the top 15 by Justice.
Seventh place was designed by Cheylin Woodruff, who chose an iconic structure for her drawing.
“I was going to do some sort of scenery, but I’m not really good at drawing that type of thing,” Woodruff said. “I’m better at the precise stuff, so I knew a building was the way I wanted to go. I decided to do Woodburn Hall because it’s one of the original buildings at West Virginia University. I knew people would know what it was and that it would be something that was challenging to draw, but it would also look good in the end.”
Tenth place was taken by Ty Cochran, who chose something a little closer to home as his icon.
“I drew a Cass train,” he said. “Just because I really like the Cass train. We used to ride it every year, either through school or the family would go up and ride it. I just thought something local would be cool on the quarter.”
There were five honorable mention designs and one of those was by Logan Dilley, who also chose a local icon that is world renowned.
Dilley drew a near exact replica of the Green Bank Telescope – the World’s Largest Fully Steerable Telescope.
The winners were announced at a ceremony February 14 at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston. Each student received a gift certificate for their efforts.
The full list of winners:
First place, Jada Morris, Poca High School – Dolly Sods.
Second place, Senaa Wilburn, Huntington High School – Blackwater Falls.
Third place, Brett Waggy, Pendleton County High School – Seneca Rocks.
Fourth place, Takenya Adkins, Lincoln County High School – Mothman Statue.
Fifth place, Charles Hartzog, Parkersburg High School – Blennerhassett Mansion.
Sixth place, Braelynn Harper, Cabell Midland High School – Babcock State Park.
Seventh place, Cheylin Woodruff, Woodburn Hall.
Eighth place, Teirney Meadows, Poca High School – Hawks Nest State Park.
Ninth place, Aliyahh Pelley, Wheeling Park High School – West Virginia Coal Miner.
Tenth place, Ty Cochran, Cass Train.
Honorable mention: Logan Dilley; Brandon Portz, South Charleston High School – Dunbar Wine Cellars; Daisy St. Clair, Huntington High School – West Virginia Capitol Building; Kaylie Elizabeth Williams, Riverside High School – Glade Creek Gristmill; and Jeremy Taylor, Oak Glen High School – Chester Teapot, The World’s Largest Teapot.