Ford’s ‘Save the Bees’ Best Mixed Media at ET exhibit

Farragut High School senior Elizabeth Ford has won Best Mixed Media for her entry, “Save the Bees,” during 11th Annual East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition.

The winners were announced during a ceremony at a reception in Knoxville Museum of Art in Knoxville Tuesday, Dec. 6. The exhibition, which started Nov. 25, will remain on display until Sunday, Jan. 8.

For winning the category, Ford won $50 and a few art scholarships.

“It all felt unreal because it was like an artist’s dream,” she said. “I was really excited [about being selected for the award]. Within a week or two, I knew my art had gotten in, but it wasn’t until a few days before the reception ceremony that I found out that I won.

“Getting into that was a big deal for me, but one of my pieces won one of the categories, Best Mixed Media,” she added. “It’s really cool to have art recognized, and the piece itself is something I’m really passionate about, so it’s really special to spread that message and have other people see something I put my heart into.

“I’m really passionate about the environment, animals and endangered species, so I did it about the bee population.”

Discovering that bees are endangered, “it left a lasting impression on me so I made a piece about it,” she said.

“My parents were really proud of me,” Ford, daughter of Maury and Julie Ford of Farragut and granddaughter of Sue Jones of Covington and Billy Ford of Martin, added. “I guess they were surprised but they were really happy.”

Knoxville Museum of Art and Tennessee Art Education Asso-ciation partner to hold the student exhibition every year, she said.

The exhibition, which features artwork created by the region’s middle and high school students, provides those students with an opportunity to take part in a juried exhibition and have their artworks displayed in a professional art museum environment.

Ford said she read on the exhibition’s website that it gets about 1,000 submissions, of which about a third get into the show that has 10 categories. There is a winner in each of the categories.

When the exhibition ends, the art works will go to Belmont University in Nashville in the summer for a statewide art show, Ford said.

“I wanted to send you a quick note to inform you of our amazing art students rocking it at the East Tennessee Regional Art Exhibition,” Ford’s art teacher, Catherine Widner, wrote in an e-mail to Susan Bolinger, FHS college and career counselor. “Our school has seven works of art represented at the show-which is amazing. Our students are beyond talented and to have their artwork in the museum is a huge honor and a really big deal in the art world,” Widner said.

“My art teacher, Ms. Widner, really tries to help us get our art work out, so she suggested that I should submit things, and I just got in [the exhibition],” Ford said.

Ford said she has not made up her mind whether or not to pursue a career in art after high school.

However, “I do want to do art in some way, whether that’s a major, minor or just a hobby, I just want to keep making [art],” she said.

In college, Ford said she plans to pursue environmental science or art,

specifically printmaking or painting.