News Release, Charles County Public Schools

Waldorf, MD- The Seven-Up Art Show is open now through Feb. 9 at the Mattawoman Creek Art Center in Smallwood State Park. The show features art created by Charles County Public high school students. Art teachers choose pieces to include in the show that ranges from paintings and drawings to photographs and sculptures.

A guest judge reviews the art for pieces that stand out and awards prizes for first-, second- and third place, as well as an honorable mention. Award categories include black and white drawing, colored drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, and sculpture. The show provides young artists with an opportunity to showcase their work in a professional gallery setting. An awards ceremony was held Jan. 26 at the center.

The show runs at the art center until Feb. 9. The center is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Barbara Stepura, chairwoman of the exhibit, said this year’s show had the largest participation. “This is the 22ndannual show and best turnout yet. Your work here is our exhibit for the next month,” Stepura said during the awards ceremony.

Peter Ulrich, a fine arts painter and instructor with the Harmony Hall Regional Center in Fort Washington and the Art League School in Alexandria, served as the exhibit judge and said he was impressed with each piece.

“This was very difficult to judge. The quality of work here is impressive. If you do not choose art as a career, you have such great talent that you can create art as an avocation. If you maintain your connection with art, your life will be broader and deeper,” Ulrich said during the awards ceremony.

The following Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students placed in the 2019 Seven-Up High School Exhibit:

Black and White Drawing

  • Autumn Murphy, junior, Thomas Stone High School, “SOUL,” first place;
  • Kieran Roth, senior, Stone, “Billie Eilish,” second place;
  • Valerie Velasco, senior, North Point High School, “Marilyn,” third place;
  • Nathanial Grapes, sophomore, Stone, “Heisenberg,” honorable mention;
  • Kaylee Tappen, junior, Henry E. Lackey High School, “Serenity,” honorable mention;
  • Marissa Perino, junior, La Plata High School, “Cheese,” honorable mention; and
  • Elijah Angelo Manuel, senior, La Plata, “Fell In,” honorable mention.

Colored Drawing

  • Aalyah Perry, senior, Maurice J. McDonough High School, “Free-Fall,” first place;
  • Madison Hill, sophomore, North Point, “West Side Perspective,” second place;
  • Raniya Washington, sophomore, North Point, “Dystopia,” third place;
  • Alayah Kirby, senior, Westlake High School, “The Building,” honorable mention;
  • Selwyn Seno, junior, Westlake, “Couch Potato,” honorable mention; and
  • Julia Smith, freshman, Lackey, “eeeeeeeeeeee,” honorable mention.

Mixed Media

  • Yidde Hauwert, senior, North Point, “Uhhhh,” first place;
  • Jai McCoy, senior, McDonough, “A day in the Cosmos,” second place;
  • Riley Seaman, junior, Stone, “Lost,” third place; and
  • Ivan Barrientos-Martir, senior, Stone, “Air,” honorable mention.


  • Abigail Sutherland, junior, La Plata, “The Gift,” first place;
  • Joycelyn Duhon, sophomore, Westlake, “Partners,” second place;
  • Reagan McWilliams, junior, McDonough, “A Walk in the Forest at Night,” third place;
  • Megan Pierce, senior, Westlake, “Portrait Challenge,” honorable mention;
  • Makayla Butler, senior, Westlake, “My Closet,” honorable mention; and
  • Jade Dofat, senior, North Point, “Asia,” honorable mention.


  • Jordan Williams, senior, North Point, “My Girl,” first place;
  • Justin Holy-Ewing, senior, Westlake, “Longing for Another World,” second place;
  • Erin Seepersad, junior, North Point, “Jordan: Drama and Light,” third place;
  • Sydney Rumsey, junior, North Point, “Fruit Works, Fruit Blends,” honorable mention;
  • Jada Gray, junior, McDonough, “PINK,” honorable mention; and
  • Kylie Presley, sophomore, La Plata, “The Gift,” honorable mention.


  • Asya Douglas, junior, Stone, Feeling Broken, first place;
  • Lovely Tatum, senior, St. Charles High School, Vase, second place;
  • Kayla Moore, senior, North Point, Movement, third place;
  • Kelly Gaetos, senior, Westlake, Coil Pot, honorable mention;
  • Shannon Austria, senior, North Point, Split Level, honorable mention;
  • Gabrielle Digiovannantonio, senior, North Point, Tree Trunks, honorable mention; and
  • Kylee Bradfield, senior, Lackey, Harajuku, honorable mention.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...