Central High Junior Recognized as Artist on the Rise | Arts & Culture
By Daniel Daniels, Bibb County School District Communications Intern
The United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., home of the United States Congress, now houses artwork created by Central High School junior Joseph Lofton. Joseph, a member of the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Central, won the nationally recognized 2012 Congressional Art Competition for District 8 in Georgia. His winning submission was a self portrait.
Joseph, who maintains a 3.7 GPA in the IB program at Central, says that he has always loved art. One of his first ways to create artwork was through drawing cartoon characters from such shows as Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z.
The creative nature of art is what Joseph said he appreciates the most.
“The process of making the art is what makes it important to a lot of artists, more so than the finished product, which is what everyone else sees,” he said. “I like to experiment, I like finding new media to work with.”
In addition to Joseph’s passion for art, he participates in mock trial and he is enrolled in French class. The skills he gained through French class will be put to good use when he travels to France this month on a class trip. Joseph utilized his artistic ability to raise money for the trip. He raised the money by selling portraits he created of people’s family members or even their family pet.
Raising money through his artwork is something Joseph said he is proud of.
“It just shows me that I can probably work as an artist at some point,” he said.
In fall 2011 as a sophomore, Joseph received a nomination from his teacher at Central, Sherrie Jamison, to the Governor’s Honors Program. The Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) is a four-week program that allows students to interact with like-minded students from around the state. Joseph was nominated to the art division of GHP. The program presents attendees with the opportunity to learn from gifted instructors who happen to be high school and college teachers.
Although Joseph was nominated for the program, he was required to attend two interviews and present examples of his past work. He attended a local interview, and then he moved to a state interview. Based on his performance in these interviews, he was one of 46 students selected to participate in the art division for GHP.
Joseph credits the nomination to GHP as something that motivated him to improve his art.
“Last year is what really pushed me to get my work to be where it is right now,” he said. “I really wanted to go to that summer program, I heard a lot about it. And so, I just began going after school every day in art spending a couple of hours there.”
The hard work Joseph put in while preparing for GHP paid off in a major way at the Georgia National Fair in Perry last fall. Joseph won first place in all categories. He did win second place in one category, but that was because he won first place previously.
Looking toward the future, Joseph said he would like to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) or the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He would like to pursue a Master of Fine Art degree and work as an art professor.
Joseph’s current art teacher, Ms. Jamison, has taught Joseph since he was a freshman at Central.
“I could tell right away that he had a very strong sense of design and composition and that he had some very serious drawing skills,” she said.
Ms. Jamison applauded Joseph for his ability to improve his artistic capabilities without an agenda. Speaking about Joseph, she said, “It just has been so rewarding to watch him grow.”