Robeson County students get accolades for art

May 13, 2014

LUMBERTON — McKinley Lowery beamed with pride when the 8-year-old’s name was called to accept her award as a 2014 recipient of the Public Schools of Robeson County Superintendent’s Choice Art Award.

Lowery, a second-grade student at Tanglewood Elementary School in Lumberton, drew a self-portrait of herself in crayon. The framed crayon work is on display at PNC Bank on North Chestnut Street until June 1. Lowery’s art was recognized with work from 39 other students from across the Public Schools of Robeson County during a reception at PNC Bank on Thursday.

“I feel really happy,” Lowery said. “I like to paint and I drew a little picture of me; I am going to put it in my room.”

The art featured in the Superintendent’s Choice Exhibit touch on a variety of mediums, from acrylic paint to crayon to photography. The artists are just as diverse, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade and representing 40 schools.

During May each year, Robeson County art teachers submit up to 10 pieces from their students. The art is then judged and selected based on originality, creativity and craftsmanship.

After the exhibition at PNC Bank ends, the artists’ work will be returned to their respective schools. Two color copies of the student artwork will be made, and students will receive the framed original while the copy will be displayed for a year at the Public Schools of Robeson County office on Caton Road.

The superintendent of the Public Schools of Robeson County has participated in the Superintendent’s Choice Exhibit Reception for about 20 years.

“I am very proud of all our young student artists. This art exhibit is very representative of the caliber of students and staff we have,” said Superintendent Johnny Hunt. “We feel art is just as important as any other academic area or program in the school system.”

For many of the students in the showcase, this is one of several events that will feature their artwork this year. Anna Oxendine, a sixth-grade student at Deep Branch Elementary School, created an abstract piece with paint and crayons.

“I put the paint on the paper, folded it and it came out with that design,” she said. “It makes me feel special and this was a surprise.”

Both Oxendine and Lowery said they plan to continue making art long after their framed works are returned to them during the summer. Though she’s still very young, Lowery said that she already has set her sights on her career.

“I like to draw with crayon and I want to be a person that draws when I grow up,” she said.

For information about the Public Schools of Robeson County’s Arts Education Program, visit