Atlanta Dogwood Festival Website

Project Director 1999 - 2017 Website

If you are a teacher and want to be included in the AHSAE mailing list OUTREACH,
Please write "add me to AHSAE mailing list" in subject line. Let us know what school you represent, your position and preferred email address.

If you or your students want to VOLUNTEER,
please email:
Please write "volunteer for AHSAE/Dogwood" in subject line.

Atlanta High School Art Exhibition
was in the 81st Atlanta Dogwood Festival April 7 - 9, 2017

(all art on this webpage is protected
by artist copyrights)

2017 Best of Show

Clara Bensimon
Riverwood International Charter High School Junior
pen and ink
Dana Munson, instructor

2016 winner/participant buttons.

Logo design by Abigail Kim, Junior,
North Gwinnett High School, 2011.

AHSAE awards
International Festivals & Events Association
2016 Gold Pinnacle Award for
Best Children's Programming
in the 2016 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

International Festivals & Events Association
2015 Gold Pinnacle Award for
Best Children's Programming
in the 2015 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

International Festivals & Events Association
2014 Silver Pinnacle Award for
Best Educational Program
in the 2014 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Southeast Festival and Event Association
2014 Gold Kaleidoscope Award for
Best Event Within An Event
in the 2013 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Southeast Festival and Event Association
2013 Silver Kaleidoscope Award for
Best Event Within An Event
in the 2012 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

International Festivals & Events Association
2012 Silver Pinnacle Award for
Best Educational Program
in the 2012 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

International Festivals & Events Association
2012 Bronze Pinnacle Award for
Best Event (within an existing festival)
in the 2012 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Southeast Festival and Event Association
2011 Silver Kaleidoscope Award for
Best Event Within An Event
in the 2010 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

2017 Third Place

The Long Goodbye
Whitney Davis
Roswell High School Senior
Travis Carr, instructor
2017 Second Place

Invisible Barrier
Rina Yoo
Lambert High School Sophomore
acrylic on canvas
Kim D'Allen, instructor

2018 Calendar
January 1, 2018: Call for Art Posted/Linked on this page, top
TBA Ai (Art Institute of Atlanta) display of winners and additional hand-picked AHSAE works
April 13 - 15, 2018: Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Piedmont Park
April 15, 1pm, 2018: Art Throwdown, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Piedmont Park
Go to: throwdown information for sign-up in early March.
April 15, Sunday, at approximately 4:30 pm: Final AHSAE and Throwdown Award Event, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Piedmont Park

Art MUST be picked up in festival space after 6pm Sunday, and will need to be signed out and walked out of the park. After 7pm vehicles will more than likely be able to drive behind the space. If work is not picked up by artist, teacher, parent or assigned courier, the work will be moved to Gwinnett County for safekeeping and retrieval ASAP.

Find weekly announcements, photos of the artists, work, award events, and the AHSAE in current and past Atlanta Dogwood Festivals.
2017 Judges: Marsha Cook, Taylor Bareford, Paul Light

Scroll down to find the 2017 sponsors who gratiously donated scholarships, internships, workshops, college art classes, art center art classes, private studio mentorships, arts organization memberships, printing, tickets, and supply money for the award winners' classes.

For information, or to add your email to the 2018 AHSAE Call for Art,
please contact: Becky Raffalovich, 2018 Project Director
Atlanta High School Art Exhibition


Scroll down for the names of the 2017 award winners.

To: Atlanta Dogwood Festival Website

Tim, Becky, Victor, Susan, Vickie, Ann, Bruce, Tony, Tom, those we forgot to mention, and the numerous high school site volunteers.

We cannot do this without your help.

2017 Award Winners

Best of Show: Clara Bensimon, "Elephant," Riverwood International Charter High School Junior, Dana Munson instructor
2nd Place: Rina Yoo, "Invisible Barrier," Lambert High School Sophomore, Kim D'Allen instructor
3rd Place: Whitney Davis, "The Long Goodbye," Roswell High School Senior, Travis Carr instructor
4th Place: Lina Chitadze, "Lonely Street," Chamblee Charter High School Junior, Lisa Guyton instructor
5th Place: Mika Muta, "70's Feel," Milton High School Senior, Heather Meyer instructor
6th Place: Amos Kang, "Blindness," Lassiter High School Senior, Suzette Spinelli instructor
7th Place: Matthew Spencer, "A Fishing Village," Holy Spirit Preparatory School Junior, Rockie Rondeau instructor
8th Place: Anna Lee, "Cell," Woodward Academy Junior, Chris Greenway instructor

Honorable Mention artworks, in no particular order:
-Jodi Enders, "Self-Portrait, Alter-Ego," Alpharetta High School Senior, Kendra McGill instructor
-Isra Quadri, "Stephanie," Atlanta Girls' School Junior, Susan Joss instructor
-June Lee, "Alter Ego," Lambert High School Senior, Kim D'Allen instructor
-Emily Zhang, "Mahjong Players," Lambert High School Sophomore, Kim D'Allen instructor
-Sophie Baez, "New York State of Mind," Milton High School Senior, Heather Meyer instructor
-Kyra Ehle, "Electric Feel," North Gwinnett High School Sophomore, Yvette Kim instructor
-Kai Gee, "Self Portrait," Paideia School Senior, Madeleine Soloway instructor
-Kaiya Plagenhoef, "Band of Brothers," Walton High school Junior, Kathleen Petka instructor

Congratulations to the 2017 Best Art Department, Kim D'Allen from Lambert High School
This award is given to one submitting school each year by the AHSAE, sponsored by the
Center for Puppetry Arts.
This award "recognizes a school and instructors who successfully nurture students' enthusiasm for art, consistently produce strong work, encourage good craftsmanship and presentation and offer a professional role model for students considering art as a career path."
Jeff Domke of the Center for Puppetry Arts will visit Brookwood High School with a performance this spring.

Congratulations to the 143 art students from around Atlanta who created artwork for the exhibition
in the 81st Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park, April 7-9, 2017.

2017 Dogwood Peoples' Choice Award

"Tree of Knowledge," by Addie Tester, Roswell High School Junior, Instructor Travis Carr.

2017 Second AHSAE Commemorative Poster

Designed by Becky Raffalovich and printed by Digital Arts Studio. Prints available, contact Director.

April 1: Ai Atlanta, Janet S. Day Gallery

The displaying artists attending the April 1 event. Left to right: Rina Yoo, Melissa Lavelle, Kyra Ehle, Matthew Spencer, Anna Frericks, Haley Tinsley, Jodi Enders, Kaiya Plagenhoef, Whitney Davis, Clara Bensimon, Allaina Sier, Lina Chitadze, Anna Lee, Nakia Bullard

The 10th Annual Art Throwdown-x was held in front of the AHSAE in the Dogwood Festival again this year.
A live model high school sketching challenge, face-to-face sketching, en plein air festival drawing challenge and a themed poster design challenge began Sunday at 1pm.

Check out the ARTTHROWDOWN.COM website for more information and application forms for future throwdown scrimmages: Throwdown information

2017 festival throwdown-x artists in the park April 9, 2017, organized by Cheryl Myrbo. Holy Spirit Prep, Norcross High School, SKA Academy of Art and Design, North Gwinnett High School, Atlanta Girls' School, South Gwinnette High School, Alpharetta High School, Union Grove High School and a few individual artists participated in all the various challenges. In addition, for the first time this year three colleges competed: Art Institute of Atlanta, Dunwoody, SCAD and Georgia Perimeter College (Clarkston) tested their talents in the park.
SKA Academy won overall (photo above with AHSAE Director Cheryl Myrbo and SKA Administrator Ms. Leng) and Susan Joss from Atlanta Girls' School won the adult sketching challenge for the second year in a row.

Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, March 19, 2016
2016 Winner's Show: March 19 - April 3, Hall Gallery

2016 top 7 AHSAE winning pieces and last year's Best of Show are displayed in the Hall Gallery for a few weeks.

AHSAE Testimonials

"Well, what can you say? It seems like every year the choices get harder and harder because each year there is more truly excellent work to judge. It is hard to say exactly why this is but it sure is a pleasure to see so much fantastic art from these talented young people. That said, there were more than a few pieces in the offing this year that might have been shoo-ins a few years ago, but the fact is that the competition is really heating up! It's as simple as that.
It was an honor to participate as a juror this year and I can honestly say that our entire community should have a lot of pride in the fact that we are able to nurture and recognize talented young artists and help them so well to unleash their potential. I only wish there was more room in the show!
--Paul Light Jr., SCAD Summer Seminar, Chastain Arts Center, 2016 AHSAE Judge

"This years entries showed a surprising depth of maturity and range of techniques. This was my first year to judge and I was very impressed."
--Michael West, Director Photography Department, Portfolio Center, 2016 AHSAE Judge

"The AHSAE is one that our students have come to look forward to each and every year. Our students are involved in many community, state, regional and national exhibits, but the prestigious AHSAE is one that they know will provide them opportunities in our community and the city of Atlanta that no other exhibit can provide. The show is expertly juried each year and students and art educators know that the best of the best will be exhibited and, on top of that, the top dozen pieces are then selected and exhibited throughout the state for several weeks so this competitive student event is a true win/win!"
--Debi West, Ed.S, NBCT North Gwinnett High School - Visual Art Department Chair NAHS Co-Sponsor, 2015

"This was my first year working with the AHSAE. During my time as an admissions representative at The Art Institute of Atlanta, I'd seen the exhibit inour gallery and always admired the work of such talented high school students. This year I had the privilege of working alongside Cheryl Myrbo to coordinate not only the artists' reception, but to also incorporate an Art Throwdown competition. Visitors to our campus were amazed at the level of skill and creativity of these young artists, and for any out-of-town guests it provided a natural invitation to visit again for the annual Dogwood Festival. The exhibit then pointed to both the talent of our local students and the cultural focus on the arts that Atlanta celebrates. I look forward to seeing next year's work from the AHSAE once again at The Art Institute of Atlanta!"
--Michael Panyard, Assistant Director of Admissions, Art Institute of Atlanta, 2014

"Thank you so much for all of your work, this show was such an amazing experience for me!"
--Claire Armstrong, 2014 Best of Show artist, Roswell High School

It was exciting to see the talent and passion alive in these high school students. It was a really difficult judging experience because there were so many strong pieces. I tried to stick to what was being asked of them for each drawing exercise as I was selecting "winners." I found it really inspiring to be around these kids watching them work. I also really enjoyed encouraging many students to keep going and to not be discouraged if they didn't get chosen for a "prize."
--Jes Gordon, Throwdown judge 2014

"... I recently participated in the Atlanta High School Drawing Throwdown. When I was there you gave me a MOCA membership. I just wanted to thank you again!! I went yesterday to turn in the form and saw the Shara Hughes paintings. I was really inspired by the work, and I think the membership is going to be really beneficial to my studies as a growing artist! Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!"
--Cassie Gallagher, Milton High School, Art Institute of Atlanta Throwdown-x artist 2014

"Thanks everyone for a successful day yesterday. I can't repeat this enough of how impressed I was by the young artists. . .not only for their incredible artwork, but for their poise and professionalism on camera. Their passion for their art was quite clear. It was inspiring to hear them talk of their work.
--Bill Murray, Art Institute of Atlanta, after CBS filming in gallery, 2013

"My daughter Madison Bass-Taylor and myself would like to thank you for the opportunity you have given to participate in the high school art show at the Dogwood Festival. My daughter goes to Woodward Academy and graduates this year. For her to be a part of the Dogwood show her senior year is so wonderful and will certainly be a feather in her cap for college. We are aware of the work involved doing a show of this scale and want you to know your efforts are appreciated."
--Beverly Bass and Madison Bass-Taylor, Woodward Academy 2013

"Thank you for taking the time print and hang Esperanza's artist statement. I think she is going to sell a print to someone who saw her work there, and now she's interested in pursuing photography as a career! Really, the experience seems like somewhat of a game-changer for her; and she's had a tough year, so it means a lot."
--Stephanie Routier, Roswell High School instructor, 2013

"We are so appreciative of all that you do. You inspire and encourage our young artists to be the best that they can be. You motivate and help bring out the best in them with your much appreciated incentives. Thanks a million!!"
--Teri Duperon, Tri-Cities High School parent, 2012

"You put together a wonderful and diverse student show. We went to the show because our daughter had a ceramic piece in it. We all meandered through the dogwood festival to find the exhibit. Our teenage son was not very excited about going until we reached the show. We got back to the car and he talked about all the pieces, his favorite was a painting of a boy trapped in the hood. We came to support our daughter but were pleasantly surprised by our sons interest and enthusiasm towards the students work! Thank you for giving our daughter a venue and our son a peeked interest! The arts are an amazing spiritual journey for all!! Thank you for all of your hard work."
--Julie Oster, Roswell High School parent, 2012

"My daughter's experience in the AHSAE at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been a highlight of her entire high school experience...Winning the Best in Show award has validated her sense of herself as an artist. In particular, the travelling exhibition that went from the Art Institute of Atlanta, to SCAD, to Oglethorpe University, and then American Intercontinental University helped her realize the breadth of the art educational world and the wider community of artists and designers. The "Meet the Artist" events were eye-opening occasions that introduced her to individuals and institutions that appreciate and nurture artistic expression at a level heretofore unknown to her. There was a moment at Oglethorpe University, in one of the best viewing galleries in Atlanta, where we saw her self-portrait displayed in the midst of a Matisse exhibit. The juxtaposition generated a sense of both humility and exhilarating potential that overwhelmed us both. Thanks to you and the Atlanta Dogwood Festival for the vision, dedication, and hard work that made that incredible afternoon a reality."
--Nancy Yarnell, Westminster School parent, 2010

"One of my students won best of show back around 1999 or 2000. It was his first art class and first real validation and encouragement as he didn't get much support from home regarding his art. He moved that summer and I lost touch with him, but recently reconnected online and found out that he had gone on to attend RISD and is a working artist in NYC now. I think that being in the exhibit that year helped him to see he should take his art seriously."
--Dianne Bush, South Gwinnett High School instructor, 2011

"It's truly been an honor to be part of this entire experience, and I'm eternally grateful for all of your efforts and help in making it all possible!! A couple months ago I would have never thought to have my worked displayed in universities, on TV, or at the dogwood festival!!!
The overall event has inspired me greatly as an artist, and fueled my passion for art in my theme of works."
--Mikhail Khoury, Second Place, Atlanta International School, 2011

2017 Sponsors
Sponsor website links below.

Watkins College of Art (Nashville): $26,000 in tuition scholarships
Savannah College of Art and Design: Two Summer Seminars Atlanta full tuition scholarships
Digital Arts Studio & Barry Glustoff: 30 posters, award scan and print
Binders Art Supplies & Frames: art supply funds, awards for winners, event
Dick Blick Art Materials: art supply funds, awards for winners, festival activity
Center for Puppetry Arts & Jeff Domke: school campus presentation (Best AHSAE Art Department)
TOCO Hill Picture Framing: Best of Show framing
Speedpro Imaging & David Hightower: signage
Hudgens Center for the Arts: eight week class and memberships for all winners
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center: week of summer camp
Roswell Visual Art Center: class
Kaleidoscope Studios: 10 class/open studio passes
Abernathy Arts Center: class
Anis Bistro: gift certificate
Buckets of Color & Jessica Gordon: one-on-one workshop
MODA, Museum of Design Atlanta: three memberships
MOCA GA, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia: membership
Eyedrum: memberships
High Museum of Art: one family membership
William C. Carlos Museum:tickets
ACAC, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center: memberships
Atlanta Botanical Garden: guest passes
Gwinnett Environmental Heritage Center: family membership

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Atlanta Dogwood Festival Website

Project Director Cheryl Myrbo Home Page

Myrbo Resume