Students win awards in art exhibition

Published 5:01 pm Thursday, August 25, 2022

Three local students got some state attention this month, after placing in a Richmond art exhibit that’s part of a national competition. The students were eligible to enter because they are immediate family members of employees at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

Addison Palmore

The 17th Annual Employee and Family Art Competition is made possible by the National Arts Program and Arts in Healthcare. All works submitted are shown and professionally judged by a panel of local prominent artists, educators and cultural leaders.

The National Arts Program is designed to give all artists, at all skill levels, an uninhibited opportunity to exhibit their work in a professional manner and to compete for cash prizes. Arts in Healthcare provides patients and staff an innovative, full-service program in performing arts, fine arts, electronic media arts, folk art and humanities as well as a compassionate, integrative therapies program.

About the students

Ishita Christian placed in last year’s exhibit as a teen and won second place in the amateur category this year, a prize of $250.

“It was so awesome to win again,” Ishita said. “It was my first time being judged for my artwork as an adult.”

“Mandela Art,” a pen and ink drawing Ishita submitted, took about one week to complete. Now that she’s going to school full time to be a nurse, it took longer than last

Ishita Christian

year’s piece to finish. The piece depicts a graceful lady in a detailed gown with mandala-style geometric patterns silhouetted with wings.

“I wanted to express the freedom girls have to fly higher,” Ishita said.

Her brother, Aaron, also placed in the competition, winning third in the teen category with a $50 prize. Ishita inspired and motivated him to enter again this year. He is 13 years old and wants to go into science or information technology in the future. It took him about two days to complete “Face in the Woods,” a pen and ink drawing of a side view of a torso filled with trees.

Aaron Christian

“The woods can be plain and not mean anything until you put art in them,” Aaron said. “The face represents how we can make the world a better place.”

“We’re very proud of both kids,” said their mother, Asha Christian, a nurse at The Hundley Center, a long-term care facility at VCU Health CMH. “They are using God’s gift to them to be blessings to others as they share their artwork.”

Addison Palmore is 12 years old and earned an honorable mention in the youth category for “Prickly Sunrise,” a colorful marker drawing of a desert scene with warm and cool tones. She learned her color theory from art class in school.

“I was happy and surprised I won,” Addison said.

She received a certificate, ribbon and gift bag of art supplies to include paint, brushes and art paper. She’s already using them to create more works of art. She also enjoys doing crafts.

Addison loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian.

“I was excited for her to win and hope it gives her more confidence,” said her mother, Brenda Palmore, the vice president of practice management and business development at VCU Health CMH.

Where can I see the work?

The exhibit is free and open to the public through Sept. 8. It is in the first-floor exhibition gallery of the Gateway Building at VCU Medical Center’s downtown Richmond campus.