North Carolina Azalea Festival

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Youth Art Contest Presented by The Community Foundation of NC East

April 3 - April 7

The North Carolina Azalea Festival Youth Art Contest Presented by the Community Foundation of NC East 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.

Elementary School Application

Middle School Application

High School Application


2018 Winners
The 1st Place entry for the K-2 Elementary School category, “The Beautiful Azaleas,” is a mixed media drawing of a beautiful Azalea Belle standing proudly with her azalea trees.  It was drawn by Avni Choudepally, a 2nd grade student at Cedar Fork Elementary in Morrisville, NC.  Avni’s favorite subject in school is math.  Outside of school, she enjoys taking pictures, mainly of flowers and other nature-related things, playing with her friends, and reading mystery books.  She is a very well-rounded young lady, taking gymnastics lessons, playing tennis and basketball, and entering art contests. She has placed in several state and national art contests, most recently in those sponsored by PTA Reflections, Wildlife Forever, NCDOT Department of Aviation, and USDOT Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.   Having never been to the Azalea Festival, Avni is excited to come to Wilmington and meet a real Azalea Belle.


1st Place entry for the Grades 3-5 Elementary School category, “A Peaceful Moment for the Queen,” is a colored pencil rendering of the regal beauty relaxing along a serene azalea-lined garden path.  Julianna Dickerson, a 5th grade student at Blair Elementary in Wilmington, is the artist. She enjoys playing sports like basketball and dodgeball, and of course, all things art.  She aspires to be an art teacher one day, following in the footsteps of her favorite teacher, Blair Art Teacher Liza Saunders.  She gets her inspiration from looking at pictures of other cultures and the environment and then adding her own twist to them to make her drawings come alive and uniquely hers.  She especially likes using colored pencils and watercolors.


1st Place entry for the Middle School category is titled, “Azalea Belle.”  It was painted by 6th grade Noble Middle School, Wilmington, NC student, Kate Spivey.  The watercolor captures the elegance of an Azalea Belle overseeing a beautiful garden on a bright sunny day.  Kate’s favorite subject in school is Language Arts because she loves the art of vocabulary and spelling. In her spare time, she not only enjoys playing with her dog Oxford, reading mystery books, doing arts and crafts, and painting and drawing, but she also spends a great deal of her time at the Dance Elements Studio perfecting her ballet and pointe skills.  She shares her love of dance with her mother and Noble Art Teacher Margaret Cooley and her love of art with her late grandfather.


1st Place entries for the High School Art category and the High School Writing Poetry category, go to Katherine Neilsen, an 11th grade student at Laney High School in Wilmington, NC.  Her art entry, titled “A Night on the River,” is an acrylic painting depicting fireworks over the Cape Fear River.  Her poem, titled “A Wilmington Tradition,” touches on many fun family Azalea Festival activities. Katherine’s favorite subject in school is Language Arts.  She plans to study business in college and hopes one day to become an English professor and open her own business that hires college students to tutor younger children.  When she is not working in the O2 Fitness Childcare Center, she enjoys reading mystery books, watching old movies, and painting. Another favorite pastime is playing with her five cats and two dogs and hanging out and taking drives with her family, where they revel in the beauty of our community and she takes pictures and plans her next painting, poem, or story.


K-2 Elementary School Division:

1st Place Avani

1st place Avni Choudepally, 2nd grade, Cedar Fork Elementary (Morrisville, NC), “The Beautiful Azaleas”
2nd place Nina Crittenden, 2nd grade, Wrightsville Beach Elementary, “Walking Through the Azalea Festival”
3rd place Ella Dudley, 1st grade, Carolina Beach Elementary, “Azaleas Monet Style”

3-5 Elementary School Division

1st place Julianna Dickerson, 5th grade, Blair Elementary, “A Peaceful Moment for the Queen”
2nd place Kyung Bin Park, 3rd grade, Sardis Elementary (Indian Trail, NC), “Flower Star”
3rd place Vinny Bisconti, 5th grade, Parsley Elementary, “Downtown Azalea Clowns”
HM Kaylee Brown, 3rd grade, Castle Hayne Elementary, “Azalea Bloom”
HM Isybilla Gee, 5th grade, Parsley Elementary, “Fireworks”
HM Josiah Siegart, 5th grade, Holly Tree Elementary, “Azalea Belle”

Middle School Winners:

1st place  Kate Spivey, 6th grade, Noble Middle School, “Azalea Belle”
2nd place Ava Whitt, 8th grade, Jay M. Robinson (Charlotte, NC), “Follow the Map to the Azaleas”
3rd place Malia Womble, 6th grade, Myrtle Grove Middle School, “Boxer on the Bridge”
HM Erin Jun, 8th grade, Community House Middle School (Charlotte, NC), “Azalea’s Beauty”
HM Emelia Stinson, 7th grade, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences, “Azalea Feathers”
HM Maximilian Wang, 6th grade, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences, “Fireworks over the Battleship,”

High School Division

1st Place Katherine Neilsen, 11th grade, Laney High School, “A Night on the River”
Runner-up Karleigh Kolander, 10th grade, Laney High School, “Blooming Belle”


Past Winners:

2018: Avni Choudepally, Cedar Fork Elementary ( K-2 Elementary School Winner )

2018: Julianna Dickerson, Blair Elementary ( 3-5 Elementary School Winner)

2018: Kate Spivey, Noble Middle School (Middle School Winner)

2018: Katherine Neilsen, Laney High School (High School Winner)

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 3
April 7
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