Cheyenne Brothers, a 10th-grader at Northeastern High School, found out after the fact that her art teacher submitted a still life she drew in her Art II class for consideration in a statewide contest.
The 16-year-old remained quiet and modest after notification that she would represent Pasquotank County students in the 2014 North Carolina General Assembly Youth Art Exhibit, which is sponsored by the N.C. Art Education Association and the N.C. General Assembly.
“It feels good, because I worked hard on it,” Brothers said. “It’s nice it’s going to be at our capitol.”
An opening reception for the exhibit will take place in early May with members of the General Assembly. The artwork will be on display for a year at the Legislative Building.
Brothers and her art teacher, Joni Stuart, said they both hope to attend.
Stuart said that Brothers is a perfectionist with her art and came to the art room outside of her regular class hours to work on her piece.
Each art teacher was only allowed one submission — a difficult decision, especially with students like Brothers who had multiple outstanding pieces, Stuart said.
Stuart still thought the contest was a long shot because of the fact only one student’s work per county would be chosen.
“I’m so proud of her,” Stuart said. “I jumped for joy when I got that e-mail.”
Brothers said that most students in her class chose to use oil pastels for the still life.
“I wanted to be different,” she said, noting that only she and one other student drew the still life with pencils.
“Your hand movement goes with the curve of it,” Brothers said of drawing the curved objects in her piece.
Realizing there was an overabundance of negative space, Stuart said “Cheyenne’s own creativity” came into play.
Brothers decided to add a brick wall in the background, and only shaded some of the bricks to create more contrast, she said.
She said she chose to color the fruit because “I thought it was the focal point.”
A cheerleader for eight years, since the third grade, Brothers enjoyed a different accolade earlier this year, when the school’s cheerleading team placed second in the state championships.
Brothers regularly makes posters and banners for the cheerleading team, Stuart noted.
“She puts a lot of her personality into her work,” Stuart said, adding “who knew” cheerleading would strengthen her art skills, but stating that she thinks it did.
A native of Elizabeth City, Brothers attributes her ability to her parents.
“Both of my parents are really artistic,” she said. “I feel like I got that from them.”
Brothers said she has “always been drawing,” adding, “I used to win contests in elementary school.”