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News Release

Lights on the James Wins 2011 John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award

Primary Media Contact:
Holly Walker
Public Relations Manager

Secondary Media Contact:
Heather Busch
Creative Services Manager

Released on January 31, 2011

Lights on the James

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Khiem Tran is an artist who explores his talents in a variety of mediums – from photography to digital media to cut paper. His portfolio is wide-ranging, featuring pieces that play with vivid colors to art that showcases the beauty of light and shadow. It is his dramatic view of Richmond that captured the attention of the John Tyler Community College Foundation Board, which selected Tran’s piece, Lights on the James, to be the winner of the 2011 Foundation Art Award. The digital photograph captures part of the city skyline at night as lights dance off the quiet waters of the James. “As the largest urban area in the central region, Richmond is the closest thing I have to one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world – New York City,” says Tran. “This black and white photograph evokes the New York skyline while keeping the charm of Richmond, Virginia and the tranquility of the iconic James River.”

“This is only the second time in the Foundation Art Award’s 15-year history that a photograph has won,” says Beverley Dew, interim executive director of the John Tyler Community College Foundation. “Lights on the James is a testament to Khiem Tran’s exceptional talent and the College’s strong art program. Khiem’s bold photograph will transform impressively into a fundraising poster that the entire community can enjoy and applaud.” Local artist and John Tyler art program alum Karen Gammon agrees. She serves on the Foundation Board and was the chairman of the Art Award Committee. She describes Tran’s photograph as “Another outstanding piece of art from John Tyler’s diverse pool of talented and creative students.”

The John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award was first started in 1995 to showcase the artistic abilities of John Tyler’s students while providing donors with a unique gift from the College. Once the winning entry is chosen, it is converted into a poster. The poster is used extensively in friends-raising and fundraising efforts on behalf of the Foundation and the College. The award winner receives $100, a framed and matted copy of the poster, as well as additional posters for portfolios.

The following students were finalists for the 2011 Foundation Art Award (zip codes follow each name): Tran (23112), Al Bracy (23803), Zita Ellison (23237), Tiffany Jenna Farley (23834), Anna F. Satalino (23112), Terry Lynn Smith (23834), Ilona S. Strunk (23237), and Robert Wynne (23236).

The John Tyler Community College Foundation relies on the generosity of the community to continue its work in securing the future of the College, its students, its faculty and its staff. Since most of the College’s graduates live and work in the area, gifts to the Foundation are an investment in the future of the community. Through donations, grants and endowments, the Foundation is able to provide scholarships for students, to fund academic programs and capital projects, to renovate and modernize classrooms and labs, and to encourage the professional development of John Tyler Community College’s faculty and staff. This work ensures the College continues its pledge of providing academic excellence while expanding the services it offers to fulfill escalating workforce requirements.

John Tyler Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education and is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 13,690 students during the 2009 – 10 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, seven certificates and 35 career studies certificates. The institution also serves 20,000 non-credit students and more than 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance. The College also is committed to sustainability. In July 2010, it received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for its Midlothian Campus Science Building, becoming the first in the Virginia Community College System to receive such recognition. John Tyler Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager


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