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Emilia Flagg and Connor McDougal created artwork that qualified for the 2024 State Superintendent’s Visual Art Exhibit that has been on display in the Alabama State Capitol. CONTRIBUTED

Flagg, McDougal accepted in State Superintendent’s Art Exhibit

MADISON – The Alabama State Board of Education, along with members of Alabama State Department of Education, selected artwork by two students in Madison City Schools for a prestigious exhibit in the state capital.

Emilia Flagg, an eighth-grader at Liberty Middle School, and Connor McDougal, a junior at James Clemens High School, created artwork that has been featured in the 2024 State Superintendent’s Visual Art Exhibit.

“These winners will be recognized on March 13 at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery,” MCS Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said in his recent “District Update” in congratulating Flagg and McDougal.

The annual State Superintendent’s Visual Arts Exhibit is a prestigious event that celebrates the creativity and talent of young student artists and their skilled teachers across Alabama. The state board has commended the award-winning students and teachers for their exceptional contributions to the visual arts.

On display in the Old Supreme Court Library in Montgomery, this exhibit recognizes the importance of visual arts in children’s education. Each school district in Alabama can choose up to 20 pieces of art to send to Montgomery.

Art instructors at Liberty are Claire McIlwain and Makenna Smith. Liberty offers four types of visual art classes: Introduction to Visual Art, Visual Art, Advanced Art and Sculpting/3D Art. At James Clemens, art teachers are Sarah Baker, Mason Overcash and Liz Vaughn. Baker teaches Art I, and Overcash teaches Art I and Art II, while Vaughn instructs Art II, Art III, Art IV and Advanced-Placement Art.

State board members consider the visual arts as a vital and enriching component of education. To spotlight fine arts, the exhibit allows students in grades K-12 from every school system in Alabama to participate, according to alabamaachieves.org.

Endorsements for the judging criteria include National Art Education Association, Alabama Art Education Association, Alabama Arts Alliance, Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts and Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Visual arts contribute to students’ development by enhancing metacognitive abilities (or higher-order thinking that enables understanding) and fostering curiosity, creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration.

For more information, visit alabamaachieves.org/content-areas-specialty/arts-education.

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