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John Tyler Community College Foundation Announces 2019 Art Award Winner

Primary Media Contact:

Holly Walker
Public Relations Manager

Secondary Media Contact:

Heather Busch
Creative Services Manager

Released on January 23, 2019

Stream at Mid-Lothian Mines by Tabitha Buchanan

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Tabitha Buchanan sees the world through a lens that blends art and science. Her interest in art emerged when she was a child, and while in high school, her passion for photography sparked. At the same time, she discovered she possessed an aptitude for science. So, Buchanan decided to pursue both areas of interest. She started a photography business and then enrolled in John Tyler Community College’s (JTCC) General Studies, Science Specialization degree program. 

As Buchanan studies science, she hones her photography skills, showcasing her ability to balance the objective world of science with the subjective world of art. It is her desire to evoke emotion while showing people different perspectives of the world that inspired her to create Stream at Mid-Lothian Mines, the 2019 JTCC Foundation Art Award winner. While working on a freelance photography job, Buchanan visited Mid-Lothian Mines Park, and as she scouted the area and took photographs, she decided to place a crystal ball in a stream. The resulting image is ethereal, showing a world within a world and highlighting nature’s beauty. When she learned of the JTCC Foundation Art Competition, Buchanan said she realized the photo was meant for Tyler, so she entered it. When she learned she won, she was overjoyed. “I am incredibly grateful to be selected as the 2019 Foundation art award winner,” said Buchanan. “I love being a student at Tyler and having a piece of my art stay with this school after I graduate means a lot to me. I love being able to share my art with others to enjoy.” 

As she completes the last classes in her degree, Buchanan looks to the future, which includes her unique blending of art and science. After graduating from Tyler with her science degree, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s of fine art in photography and to expand her photography business. She also wants to continue bringing art to hospice and palliative patients, work she’s currently involved in through volunteer efforts. “I can see the positive impact it has on their health,” she says. “So my ultimate career goal is combining healing work and art.”  

The John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award, which originated in 1995, showcases the artistic abilities of Tyler’s students. Finalists were chosen by the Foundation Art Award Selection Committee, made up of Foundation Board members and college faculty and staff. Members of the Foundation Board of Directors then select the winning entry from among the finalists. An image of the winning artwork is converted into a poster and into cards that are used by the Foundation and the college. The winner receives a financial award, a framed and matted copy of the poster, and additional posters for his or her portfolio.

In addition to Buchanan (23113), the following students created artwork that were finalists for the 2019 John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award (zip codes follow each name): Janet Burgos (23832), Joshua Cloninger (23139), Julia DiMartino (23114), Jack Goolsby (23114), April C. Painter (23231), Terry Lynn Smith (23834), and Robert Wynne (23236).

The JTCC Foundation secures resources that provide scholarships for students; fund academic programs, student support services, capital projects, and renovations to modernize classrooms and labs; and stimulate innovation within the college faculty and staff. This work ensures the college continues its pledge of providing academic excellence to students while expanding the services it offers to meet the community’s workforce requirements. Since most of the College’s graduates live and work in the area, gifts to the Foundation are an investment in both students and also the community.    

John Tyler Community College offers more than 60 majors that provide pathways to careers in high-demand fields; transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities; and industry credentials and licensures. The college, with campuses in Chester and Midlothian, a Nursing Education Center, online classes, and off-campus classrooms, served more than 14,300 students during the 2017-18 academic year. It also assisted more than 7,000 learners through its workforce development division, Community College Workforce Alliance

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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager


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