April 2024
Written By: 
Grand Strand Magazine Staff
Photographs by: 
courtesy of Jaden McBride and Myrtle Beach Art Museum

Jaden McBride (St. James High School, teacher: Joseph Grega), colored pencil, marker and charcoal, 20 x 28 inches, 2023 Best in Show

See what area high-school students have been up to in their visual arts departments this semester at the 24th Annual Horry-Georgetown County High Schools Juried Art Exhibition at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, April 21-May 19.

Museum visitors can see the work that makes up this diverse and vibrant annual exhibition juried by Curator Liz Miller and Education Coordinators Jayme Carlson and Colin Riebe. After a week of jurying at all participating high schools in Horry and Georgetown Counties, as well as a viewing visit with our area homeschool high school students, jurors whittle down the hundreds of submissions to the best of the best for exhibition. This opportunity for teenage art students helps them gain professional experience in the Museum exhibition process, including teaching them the important skill of being able to write about their work in the form of an artist statement.

In the artist statement for his 2023 Best of Show work (above), Jaden McBride wrote: ‘My main concept was loneliness and the pain/joy that can be found in it. At the time that I started this, I was going through a depressive episode and began to feel like a loner. When I say loner, I don’t mean that classic stereotype. I mean, even when I was surrounded by the people that made me the happiest, I felt nothing. For me, sometimes reality just stops being real, like somebody turned off the TV, and I’m no longer myself. I’m no longer able to connect to anyone, and I feel empty. While I was working on this piece, I realized there was a sense of serenity in loneliness, and I began to relate it to my experience throughout Covid. Being alone forces you to become friends with yourself, and for me, I slowly learned how to fill my emptiness.’

This year, exhibiting artist Paul Yanko, who is also a 2D Visual Arts Instructor at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (Greenville), will judge the art. Yanko holds a MFA in Painting from Kent State University (OH) and a BFA in Illustration/Graphic Design from the Cleveland Institute of Art (OH). As a full-time faculty member of the Governor’s School since 2004, he has participated in solo and group exhibitions on both the national and regional level. His work is in personal and public collections, including the Greenville County Museum of Art and the Medical University of South Carolina. His solo exhibition will take place September 12- December 15 at the Art Museum in Myrtle Beach.