For the first time in a year, student artists brought families and friends together again.

Charlotte County’s high school artists were recognized for their award-winning masterpieces during a ceremony Thursday evening at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda.

Last year’s program was canceled with the onset of the pandemic.

Eleventh-grade student Karolyn Aspiolea was honored to see her work hanging in the gallery.

“This shows that I have enough potential for my work to be shown at a place as nice as this,” she said.

Her art, “Summer Day,” won first place in the Opaque Paint category.

Port Charlotte High School teacher Tiffiny Coffey said the artwork brought tears to her eyes.

“I got really emotional when we hung up the artwork this year,” Coffey said. “I think the art shines just as bright, if not brighter this year, and I am so proud of the students.”

Ellen Harvey, Curriculum Specialist for Fine Arts, was ecstatic to see the amount of talent.

“Being here tonight is monumental,” she said. “Art has the power to unite and connect us as people. Even during the pandemic, the arts have brought us closer together.”

Harvey noted CCPS Superintendent Steve Dionisio buys a piece of artwork to hang at the county office gallery from every show, which he was there to do that night.


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