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Hundreds of high school students come to art conference

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The 23rd annual National Art Honor Society (NAHS) Georgia State Conference brought more than 250 high school students from across the state to the University of North Georgia on Feb. 22-23 to participate in portfolio reviews and workshops with UNG art faculty.

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High school students from around the state took part in a recent conference held at the University of North Georgia.

The conference, held on the university's Dahlonega campus, was a collaboration between UNG, Chestatee High School, and Gainesville High School, and was open to high school students who are members of NAHS chapters from across the state. The annual conference is a valuable opportunity for aspiring art students to have their work reviewed by art faculty and their peers, and offers education and networking opportunities.

Dr. Pam Sachant, head of UNG's Department of Visual Arts, said it was an honor to host the exhibit, and she was excited to be working with NAHS again.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for UNG to introduce prospective students to our campus and facilities; providing these young artists with a weekend of activities during which they get to know the quality and range of faculty, studios, and degrees helps us to attract the very students we wish to be part of our program," Sachant said. 

Dr. Chris Dockery, who hosted the conference for UNG, agreed: "The conference was a great opportunity for us to showcase our university and our Department of Visual Arts."

Sierra Romeo, a student at Forsyth Central High School, said she was excited to get unique feedback on her work.

"I'm here for an outside look at what I do. I want to see what people outside of my school think," Romeo said.

Alex Campione, also from Forsyth Central, hoped to be inspired by networking with other young artists.

"I like to see what students at other schools are up to. I want to get inspiration by seeing what others are doing," Campione said. He was also excited for the workshops offered. "I'm taking a workshop on welded steel sculpture. I'm excited because I get to do something I've never done before, and can't do at my own school."

The conference is particularly valuable to aspiring students because it offers the opportunity to compete for scholarships. Students may enter portfolios to be considered for the Georgia Art Education Association's NAHS Scholarship or the Helen Fleming Stone Scholarship, or take the NAHS Art History exam for a shot at the GAEA NAHS Superior Art History Scholarship. Scholarships also were awarded for exemplary 2-D and 3-D artworks in the push-pin exhibit.

In addition to scholarship opportunities, the conference featured valuable workshops led by UNG art faculty. This year, students could select classes from a variety of art disciplines, including paper bead jewelry, relief printing on garments, cyanotypes, film directing, art history and weaving.

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