Bedford couple participates in Scholastic Art Awards ceremony

Tom and Diana Hayes, north region representatives of the Young Marine Artists Search, were invited by Bedford resident Scott Chatfield, executive director of the Scholastic Art Awards of New Hampshire, to address the 19th annual Scholastic Art Awards New Hampshire Ceremony at Pinkerton Academy in Derry on Sunday, Feb. 4.

Tom Hayes outlined the history and purpose of the Young Marine Artist Search. The YMAS was founded by professional artist members of the American Society of Marine Artists in 2008. The purpose was to nurture and support young artists from age 16-23 who were interested in maritime subjects, and to encourage museums, art centers and schools to hold competitions for these young people. Works were juried by ASMA signature members. Scholarship prizes were awarded for marine themed works produced in art education courses. Competitions were regional, statewide or local and held in galleries or museums. In 2013, the full membership of the ASMA agreed the program should become a national competition with submissions sought from across the country and recognition of the YMAS winners take place during the national annual ASMA General Meeting. The competition would also recognize the art educators on a national level who are the key to the continued success of the Young Marine Artist Search. The successful pairing of the SAANH and the YMAS is the first of its kind in the history of the Young Marine Artist competition.

Scott Chatfield and the SAANH board approved incorporating the Young Marine Artist Search into the Scholastic Art Awards program in 2016. Information on the YMAS was forwarded to Chatfield by Diana Hayes, when she noted an article in this paper citing the 2016 Gold and Silver Key award winners from Bedford High School. This year, 14 Bedford High students won eight Gold and Silver Key awards and nine honorable mentions, though none in the marine themed category. Jessica Prod’homme, whose sculpture took a Best of Show award this year, and her teacher, Catherine Tuttle, are particularly congratulated for their achievement. The more than 1,000 works displayed at Pinkerton in all media disciplines were noted for their skill, creative vision and technical perfection. It also highlighted the dedication and skill of their teachers.

Diana Hayes recognized the all important role that the art educators play in both the SAANH Awards and the YMAS competition.

“The teacher’s own body of work, through their guidance, encouragement and critiquing is quietly, but definitely reflected in that of their successful students,” said Hayes. “Today’s students will go on next year or eventually to different opportunities. The educators will continue in place to encourage and support upcoming classes for years to come. They are the future of these programs.”