(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will present the 2023 Visual Arts Achievement Awards Exhibit at the Bama Theatre’s Junior League Gallery through March 10.  A closing reception and awards ceremony recognizing the winners will take place on Thursday, March 9 from 6-7 p.m. in the gallery.

The Junior League Gallery at the Bama Theatre is open weekdays from 9 a.m. -noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Enter the gallery through the PARA Building, located adjacent to the theatre, during daytime hours.

The exhibit will consist of the winners and other outstanding works accepted to the show by students from local public and private schools with works divided into two groups based on grade level. Group I will consist of middle school students in grades 6-8, and Group II will include high school students in grades 9-12.  The program was open to students from West Alabama counties in District 3. Entries were classified based on medium:  craft, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography/digital images/film/new media.

The local winners will be featured in the state level competition at the RSA Tower Artist’s Gallery in Montgomery. A program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Visual Arts Achievement Program provides local and state recognition for student achievement in the visual arts. The program is designed to offer encouragement to young artists, showcase their work and offer opportunities for advanced training beyond high school.

The judges for the District 3 competition were Ruth O’Connor and Kaitlin Redborg.

Top 2023 Winners

Overall Best in Show
Perri Payne, Paul W. Bryant High School
Teacher: Olivia Williams
Drawing: “Honeysuckle”

Best in Group 1
Emmitt Sesson, The Alberta School of Performing Arts
Teacher: Abel Phillips
Drawing: Untitled

Best in Group 2
Jessica Trotter, Paul W. Bryant High School
Teacher: Olivia Williams
Drawing: “Heartbreak”

To the list of all winners and those works that will move forward to the state level, visit

The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit www.tuscarts.org for further information.