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BHS’s Priest wins state scholarship


Bailey Priest, a sophomore at Bearden High School, received a $300 scholarship from Tennessee’s First Lady, Andrea Conte, Dec. 14.

Priest’s watercolor entitled “Trail of Tears” won first place in the Tennessee Residence Brindley Scholar Art Contest sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission.


Bailey was accompanied in the school’s art gallery by her parents, Kelly and Steve Priest, BHS alumnus State Sen. Tim Burchett (District 7), principal Barbara Jenkins, art department head Dr. Fred Patterson, art teacher Flowerree Galetovic and local media.

Conte also awarded two other Knoxville art students who were runners-up in the competition.

South Doyle High School student Shaun Ridge and Powell High School student Alex Blackwelder received $100 scholarships.

Priest’s brown-toned artwork, which is part of the traveling art exhibit, features the profile of a Native American. The Trail of Tears and names of actual campsites used in the exodus are in the background.

“I thought it was really sad,” Priest said of the historic event. “It was so emotional and sad, and I could put it into a kind of old-fashioned look.”

Priest has a little Cherokee in her genealogy. Her great-great-great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee who married a white man by the name of Ward. The Wards are still well-known in Cherokee, N.C.

Priest, who has won several other art awards, hopes to go to an art institute after high school.

Bailey’s mother, Kelly Priest, said she and her daughter moved across town so Bailey could be part of the art department at BHS.

Priest, an artist herself, said she visited several high school art departments in Knox County before settling on Bearden’s.

“I sold my house and she and I moved to this side of town,” Priest said. “We moved basically for Ms. G. I can’t say enough about Ms. G.”

The mother said Galetovic, who has been at BHS since 1981, puts a lot of effort into helping her students.

The traveling art exhibit features the work of Charles Brindley as well as that of high school students. The contest was created to raise money for the renovation of the governor’s mansion.

“I’ve been very supportive of the arts,” Conte said. “I think it’s very important to recognize creativity.”

The First Lady said there is still a little more than $1 million to raise for renovations.

“We feel we’re making good progress,” she said. “We’ve still got a lot to raise. We’ve raised six-point-four million and we’re trying to get to eight million.”

Conte said a contractor has been selected to do the renovation work.

 

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