Clarksville, TN Online: News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment.

High School Riverfest Tour d’Art Stuns with Talent


Riverfest 2011Clarksville, TN – While most people focus on the riverside festival that is associated with Riverfest, the Clarksville-Montgomery County art community is strutting its stuff. The High School Art Exhibit is traditionally held at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center where curators stage a spectacular array of student art forms.

This year’s exhibit of talent from Clarksville High School, Northwest High School, Northeast High School, Clarksville Academy, Montgomery Central High School, Dickson County High School, and Christian County (Kentucky) High School stunned its viewers with exceptional talent. This juried show had 57 entries on exhibit from the more than 100 possibilities submitted by students.

Kory Polley's untitled drawing of the face of a beautiful girl

Kory Polley's untitled drawing of the face of a beautiful girl

Kory Polley’s untitled drawing of the face of a beautiful girl took Best of Show. Polley, a football player for his Christian County High School alma mater, was unable to attend the festivities on Friday night because he was participating in a game. According to other students who work beside him in art classes, Kory’s work sets the mark for everyone else. The detail in his winning drawing was exquisite with near-photographic lips that made the on-looker want to reach out and touch.

George Amberjack, the executive director of the Tennessee Arts League, was this year’s judge. The difficulty of his decisions is reflected in the number of honorary mentions awarded. From the portrait of his grandfather by Dylan Waldrop to the intricate “Flowers by Youn Lee to the sculpture created from the leg of white jeans by Pablo Gutierrez, the range of talent was varied and highly commendable.

The awards are as follows:

Photography/Digital Imagery

  1. Brhea Harper, Clarksville High School, “Untitled 2”
  2. Whitney Robertson, Clarksville High School, “Bicycles”
  3. Eric Tschida, Clarksville High School, “Light”

Honorable Mentions:

  • Andreia Odom, Montgomery Central High School, “Doors”
  • Dherraj Daswani, Clarksville Academy, “Rusty Jumps”
  • Karan Wadhwa, Clarksville Academy, “The Boy of Fire”
  • Kayln Riley, Clarksville Academy, “Water Flowers”
  • Keith Froehlich, Clarksville High School, “Untitled 1”
  • Morgan Schnetlage, Clarksville High School, “Ferriswheel”
  • Nickie VanVactor, Christian County High School, “Where Life Begins”
  • Eric Tschida, Clarksville High School, “Fruit”


  1. Youn Lee, Clarksville High School, “Flowers”
  2. Courtney Hill, Northwest High School, “Angel”
  3. Karen Carpenter, Montgomery Central High School, “Romanticus”

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jaime Mercer, Montgomery Central High School, “White Tiger”
  • Kay Polley, Christian County High School, “Wood Duck”
  • Stacey Steibech, Montgomery Central High School, “Fox”


  1. Dylan Waldrop, Christian County High School, “Ricky Ray Morris”
  2. Ashley Nicole Gilliam, Northeast High School, “The Self Not Found”
  3. Dillon Nall, Montgomery Central High School, “Emily”

Honorable Mentions:

  • Emily Thomack, Clarksville High School, “Wild Life”
  • Essense Williams, Christian County High School, “Monochrome”
  • Essense Williams, Christian County High School, “Solitude”
  • Harley Garton, Dickson County High School, “Self Portrait”
  • Jacob Hall, Clarksville High School, “Still Life”
  • Kyle Prichard, Dickson County High School, “Italy’s Home”
  • MaryBeth Yancy, Dickson County High School, “American Idiot”
  • Sarah Hooks, Christian County High School, “Untitled”
  • Youn Lee, Clarksville High School, “Landscape”


  1. Pablo Gutierrez, Christian County High School, “The Missing Foot”
  2. Emily Wilke, Montgomery Central High School, “Ice Cream Cone”
  3. Amanda Hayes, Dickson County High School, “Larger Than Life”

Mixed Media/Collage

  1. Travis Gallivan, Clarksville High School, “Public Enemies”
  2. Karen Carpenter, Montgomery Central High School, “The Forbearing Sight of Claire”
  3. Brianna Grotts, Montgomery Central High School, “Rasta Panda”

Riverfest also wishes to thank, in addition to the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center staff, the following: Terri Jordan, Bill Hagge, Penny Elkenberry, Jennifer Otto, Vandy Watt, CDE Lightband, Jim Manning, Christy Batts, Arts and Heritage Development Council, Ellen Kanervo, Katie Kennedy, Chick-Fil-A, Hilltop Market, Wal-Mart, George Anderjack, The Leaf-Chronicle, and all the volunteers who made the High School Art Exhibit a resounding success.

In addition the following art teachers congratulated for their leadership and guidance of these highly creative students:

  • Piper Bell and Robert Nietske of Clarksville Academy
  • Beth Skinner of Northeast High School
  • Debra Harrison and Mike Alexander of Montgomery Central High School
  • Linda Elliott of Clarksville High School
  • Shawn Scott of Northwest High School
  • Patricia Hudson of Dickson County High School
  • Paula Geiske of Christian County High School

Whether or not you attended this free event this year, please remember to put it on your calendar for next year. This event is fun for the entire family and includes a reception on Friday night from 5:00pm to 6:00 p.m.

You will be amazed at the talent of our teenagers who work hard each year to provide this showcase of creativity and visual delight.

Photo Gallery

About Sue Freeman Culverhouse

    Sue Freeman Culverhouse

    Author of Tennessee Literary Luminaries: From Cormac McCarthy to Robert Penn Warren (The History Press, 2013) Sue Freeman Culverhouse has been a freelance writer for the past 36 years. Beginning in 1976, she published magazines articles in Americana, Historic Preservation, American Horticulturist, Flower and Garden, The Albemarle Magazine, and many others. Sue is the winner of two Virginia Press Awards in writing.

    She moved to Springfield, Tennessee in 2003 with her sculptor husband, Bill a retired attorney. Sue has one daughter,  Susan Leigh Miller who teaches poetry and creative writing at Rutgers University.

    Sue teaches music and writing at Watauga Elementary School in Ridgetop, Tennessee to approximately 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She also publishes a literary magazine each year; all work in the magazine is written and illustrated by the students.

    Sue writes “Uncommon Sense,” a column in the Robertson County Times, which also appears on Clarksville Online. She is the author of “Seven keys to a sucessful life”, which is  available on and; this is a self-help book for all ages.

    Web Site:




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