Four Thomson High School upper level art students were selected by the Augusta Symphony Guild as finalists in the Guild's Painted Violin Competition, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the symphony.
C.J. Pennywell, Devin Anderson, Wayne Pinkston, and Alvin Cummings were chosen as four of the 12 finalists. What makes the achievement even more impressive is the fact that around 125 students participated in the contest, which asked students to come up with a design that could be painted on a violin. Only Davidson Fine Arts School had more finalists than THS with five.
THS art teacher Claudia Wells said she was excited when she heard that four of her students had been chosen as finalists.
"It's great, and competing with Davidson Fine Arts School, they've got five, but (what we've got) is pretty darn good," she said.
While she said her students were honored to be chosen by the guild, they were a little apprehensive about transferring their design from paper to a three dimensional object like a violin.
"Mostly what they're worried about is doing the actual painting, because most people did it in colored pencil or some other medium, and so they're worried about using paint and getting all the values and details that they were able to get with the colored pencils," she said.
The guild has scheduled a workshop in late January to give students a primer on how to approach painting the violin. After that, the 12 will have just three weeks to complete their design. Judges will then choose two overall winners, and they'll be announced at the Publix Family Concert on March 21. Regardless, all 12 designs will be featured on an Augusta Symphony calendar.
Mrs. Wells is confident that her students will represent THS well.
"They understand that it's going to be hard, but I think once they go to the workshop and the people walk them through the process, then it won't seem too hard for them."