North Carolina Azalea Festival

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Youth Art Contest Presented by Coastal Children’s Services

April 11 - April 15


The North Carolina Azalea Festival Youth Art Contest Presented by Coastal Children’s Services is an annual art contest showcasing the amazing artistic talents of the youth in our community. Each year over 300 area public, private, and home-schooled elementary, middle school, (and new in 2018 – high school!) students submit their artwork to the contest, illustrating the traditions of the North Carolina Azalea Festival that mean the most to them. The winning artists (and second and third place) in all divisions receive various notable prizes, and some schools are even treated to a visit from the Azalea Festival Official Artist.  Top place artists in each division will have their work showcased in the Azalea Festival Souvenir Book, and are invited to Raleigh to attend the Governor’s Press Conference with the Azalea Festival entourage.  The Top 15 entries in each division are exhibited during the Azalea Festival at the Community Arts Center in the Historic Hannah Block USO Building. These artists also receive a complimentary ticket to the April Thalian Association Children’s Theatre (TACT) production.


We are currently accepting pieces for the 2018 Youth Art Contest Presented by Coastal Children’s Services.
There are four divisions: High School, Middle School, and two Elementary School Divisions (K-2, 3-5).


Elementary Application

Middle School Application

High School Application

2017 Winners
The 1st place entry for the Elementary School category, “Blooming Belle,” is a colored-pencil drawing of a beautiful Azalea Belle along the Cape Fear riverfront with the majestic USS North Carolina Battleship standing guard in the background. It was drawn by Olivia Brown, a 10-year-old 5th grade student at Holly Tree Elementary in Wilmington. Olivia says that science is her favorite subject in school because her teacher Mrs. Foreman makes it so much fun. She hopes one day to be a veterinarian and use her science knowledge to discover cures for sick animals. She is also a talented singer, having been selected for the All County Chorus two years in a row and the NC Honors Chorus this year. When not in school, Olivia enjoys jumping on her trampoline and playing with her friends and her border collie Gracie. She spends her spare time reading art books, drawing, and taking art lessons with Carolyn Faulkner’s Young Artists Series. When asked from where the inspiration for her art contest entry came, Olivia answered, “First, from my neighbor who was a Belle and wore the dress I drew, then from my dad who thinks the battleship is so Wilmington, and from me because I really just love azaleas and the sun.” Fact – Olivia has never been to the Azalea Festival. Fact – you certainly couldn’t tell it from her beautiful drawing!

“Antique Azalea” is the 1st place entry for the Middle School category. A tribute to the 70th anniversary of the North Carolina Azalea Festival, it is an exquisite mixed media watercolor painting of multi-colored azaleas superimposed on a parchment letter from Hugh Morton, the President of the very first North Carolina Azalea Festival. The winning Middle School artist is 8th grader Delilah Mills from Cape Fear Academy, also in Wilmington. One of Delilah’s favorite subjects in school is Language Arts because she loves to read, especially books about art mystery and by Blue Balliett. Another favorite subject is history. Delilah enjoys researching and learning more about where she lives. She is an accomplished French horn player and was recently selected for the NC Association of Independent Schools Honor Band. In her spare time, Delilah plays tennis and basketball on the Cape Fear Academy teams, listens to music, and hangs out with friends and her dog Jethro. When asked what inspired her art entry, she replied, “My love of history and my art teacher Mrs. Rojek. She is an amazing teacher!”

Middle School Winners:

1st Place Delilah Mills, 8th Grade, Cape Fear Academy
2nd Place Vyvyan Broadfoot, 8th Grade, Roland Grise Middle School
3rd Place Angela McGowan, 8th Grade, Cape Fear Center For Inquiry
Honorable Mention Sofia Darnall, 7th Grade, Cape Fear Academy
Honorable Mention Caroline Harris, 6th Grade, Holly Shelter Middle School
Honorable Mention Mitchell Spivey, 7th Grade, Noble Middle School

Elementary School Winners
1st Place Olivia Brown, 5th Grade, Holly Tree Elementary
2nd Place Brooke Zub, 5th Grade, Parsley Elementary
3rd Place Marea Bradley, 5th Grade, Carolina Beach Elementary
Honorable Mention Sydney Cortina, 5th Grade, Cape Fear Academy
Honorable Mention Claire Mearns, 3rd Grade, Cape Fear Academy
Honorable Mention Eliza Wood, 5th Grade, Bellamy Elementary

These pieces and the other “Top 50” entries, are  on display in the Community Gallery at the Community Arts Center in the Historic Hannah Block USO building throughout the month of April.  The artists were honored at an Art Show Opening Ceremony where they received a complimentary ticket to the TACT production, “A Chorus Line,” opening on April 28, 2017, a commemorative coin from the Lower Cape Fear Coin Club, and souvenirs from the Azalea Festival.

Past Winners:

2017: Olivia Brown, Holly Tree Elementary (Elementary School Winner)

2017: Delilah Mills, Cape Fear Academy (Middle School Winner)

2016: Elajandra Torres, Carolina Beach Elementary (Elementary School Winner)

2016: Audrey Mase, Roland-Grise Middle School (Middle School Winner)

2015: Becky Girolami, Parsley Elementary (Elementary School Winner)

2015: Max Brinker, Cape Fear Center For Inquiry (Middle School Winner)

2014: Ruthie Wainwright, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences (Elementary School Winner)

2014: Sylvia Atwood, Cape Fear Academy (Middle School Winner)

2013: Margaret Dill, Cape Fear Academy (Elementary School Winner)

2013: Maddie Porter, Cape Fear Academy (Middle School Winner)

2012: Cameron Holmes, Bellamy Elementary

2011: Lemir Moore, Snipes Academy of Art and Design

2010: Katie Girolami, Cape Fear Academy


April 11
April 15
Event Category:


Coastal Children’s Services