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News Release

A Portrait in Oil Captures the Imagination and the JTCC Foundation Art Award

Primary Media Contact:
Holly Walker
Public Relations Manager

Secondary Media Contact:
Heather Busch
Creative Services Manager

Released on January 30, 2014

A Portrait in Oil Captures the Imagination and the JTCC Foundation Art Award

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Light and shadow play across the canvas, bringing rich colors and bold textures to life. A woman sits quietly, gazing into the distance. Her thoughts are unknown. This is Tory painted by Alexander William Huneke, and it is the winning artwork in the annual John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award contest. This is the second time Huneke’s work has received this honor. In 2013, his entry, After Picasso, “Woman with Pears” (sans Pears), became the first 3-D sculpture to win the Foundation Art Award.

When describing his 2014 entry, Huneke says he was inspired to paint his friend Tori because of her sense of style. “When I saw her jacket that was rimmed with ostrich feathers, it beckoned to me,” says Huneke. “Though I did ask Tori to take a number of poses that I had sketched out, it was when she was at rest while I was adjusting my camera that I had a gestalt moment and found the pose. The painting took about a month to complete, and I regard it as being among the best of the work I have produced.  I am honored that the John Tyler Foundation has decided to recognize me for the second year in a row.”

The announcement of the 2014 Foundation Art Award winner came as Huneke was finishing up his classes at John Tyler. At the end of the Fall 2013 semester, he was awarded an Associate of Applied Arts Degree in Visual Arts and a Certificate of Fine Arts. He is now continuing his education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Over the years, Huneke has received numerous recognitions for his talent, including the 2004 High School Arts Award presented by the Greater Reston Arts Center and a scholarship awarded by the League of Reston Artists. Both were received when Huneke was a senior in high school.

“Alexander Huneke has done it again,” says Beverley Dew, executive director of the John Tyler Community College Foundation. “In the history of this prestigious competition, we have not had a back-to-back winner.  Alex’s provocative oil on canvas, entitled Tory, captures his special gift as a portraitist.  John Tyler Community College’s art program, under the leadership of Colin Ferguson, is distinguished for its extremely refined curriculum.  The Foundation Award competition showcases the exceptional faculty and student talent in John Tyler’s well-respected art program.”

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, an image of 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 $250, a framed and matted copy of the poster, and additional posters for his portfolio.

The following students were finalists for the 2014 Foundation Art Award (zip codes follow each name):  Huneke (23221); Annabel Goodridge (23113); Deug M. Kang (23831); Tiffany Jenna Farley (23834); Harvey Max Jones (23235); Deanna Mutz (23112); Robert Wynne (23236); Terry Lynn Smith (23834);  Donya Heide (23112) and Sean Shipman (23114).

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 laboratories, 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 14,000 students during the 2012-13 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, seven certificates, and 34 career studies certificates. The institution also serves 15,000 non-credit students and more than 1,200 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 Hamel Hall on its Midlothian Campus, 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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