Group seeks youth art submissions

Published 10:59 pm Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dakota Evers, shown with his winning artwork in last year’s Suffolk Sister Cities International Young Artists Showcase, was chosen as one of the 10 international finalists. The pieces have been traveling the United States on exhibit this year.

When Dakota Evers saw his artwork hanging front and center at last year’s Suffolk Sister Cities International Young Artists Showcase, that was good enough for him.

“I was really surprised when they hung it up front,” he said.

But when the Nansemond River High School student, now 16, realized that he had won Best in Show, he was beside himself.

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“I didn’t expect to win,” he said. “I wasn’t really confident with the artwork I was doing at the time.”

But it was soon to get even better. His mixed-media work depicting the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico moved on to international competition and was selected as one of the 10 international finalist pieces.

“I knew it was good, but I didn’t expect it to win anything,” he said.

The 10 finalist pieces will be coming to Suffolk next month, in conjunction with this year’s local-level show. Entries are now being accepted for this year’s show.

Evers has been creative his entire life but only started doing art seriously in the last few years.

The theme of last year’s show was “Shaping Your Community for a Greener Future.” Evers used a piece of a soda can, bubble wrap, colored plastic, trash bags, pieces of wallpaper and more to create his art.

“I was sort of in a rut when I did it,” he said. “I want it to be relevant to current events.”

When he chose the oil spill, “It was like an ah-ha moment,” he said.

Evers’ piece and the nine other finalists will be on display at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts on March 18, which also is the first day of this year’s show.

“We are just so thrilled with the Suffolk Sister Cities that the Best in Show at our show was one of the 10 finalists,” said Kay Goldberg, chairman of the cultural outreach committee for Suffolk Sister Cities.

This year’s contest is open to all Suffolk students between the ages of 13 and 18. The theme is “Youth as a Catalyst for Change.” The show will be on display through April 27, and the winner will move on to international competition for a chance to become a finalist like Evers did.

For more information on how to enter this year’s show, call 539-4954.