Bearden junior’s art skills steal show at Dogwood Art Festival


Madison Tenney, News Editor

The Dogwood Art Festival is an event that allows students from all over Knox County to enter in their art in competitions that both motivate young artists, but also showcase their knowledge of the art world through their schools’ art programs. Bearden has risen to the top yet again, and one student definitely stood out amongst his competitors.

Junior Justin Edaugal entered the Synergy show at the festival this year, and placed first in the 11th grade division, with his feature self portrait entitled “Forsaken”. The Synergy show features student and teacher works ranging in grades K-12 in East Tennessee. Awards and scholarships are presented to the winners of each grade, and a “Best in Show” winner is chosen overall by a juror.

Each art teacher is only allowed to submit two students’ pieces to the Dogwoods Festival. Edaugal’s art teacher this year, Ms. Paula Goepfert, submitted two of his pieces, the colored pencil self portrait “Forsaken” and a mixed media piece “The Burning of Luna”.

At the beginning of the year, Edaugal didn’t even realize that Dogwood had student exhibits.

“I was scrolling through Instagram and found out other people were entering the show the night before the submission deadline,” Edaugal said. “I thought it would be a really fun opportunity to showcase some of my art, so I frantically gathered all my information and pictures to send to Ms. Goepfert.”

Along with his first place in the show, he was offered art scholarships from Memphis College of Art and Design, Cumberland University, and Maryville College; the offers from the three schools totaled around $20,000.

“I honestly was not expecting to win anything; I was just worrying about being accepted into the show,” Edaugal said. “When I found out I won first place, I was in shock and immediately started telling my family and friends.

“Even after receiving my award, the thought of winning didn’t sink in until a couple of days after the opening night. I have never really [been] in an art show outside of school before, so it was a very special moment for me.”

Though Edaugal is planning a future in the medical field, art still holds a very special place in his heart.

“Creating art has always been a huge passion of mine ever since I was 5,” Edaugal said. “As I grew older, my understanding and reasoning behind creating art branched out.

“My mom died of cancer when I was 9, and art allowed me to delve deep into those emotions and express my experiences to others. It was a fun hobby at first, but then it transitioned into a special way for me to connect with people and reflect upon myself.”