Artwork by Anne Agee, a rising ninth-grade student at Martinsville High School, is displayed on two billboards in Martinsville after she won Piedmont Community Services’ anti-vaping campaign billboard contest.
One billboard is located behind the Nelson Ford dealership on Market Street going toward Commonwealth Boulevard. The other is on Blue Ridge Street near Mulberry Creek Nursing and Rehab Center.
“Anne was more than excited to participate in the contest,” said Martinsville Middle School Art Teacher Michelle Hairfield. “I am so excited for her.”
“I remember being told about the contest, as I was walking down the hall to take my science S.O.L. test before school let out,” said Agee.
She recalled that Hairfield said “a local contest was being hosted, and that I should join. When I went home later that day, I went straight to work on the project. During the day, I had come up with the idea of featuring some form of dragon in my entry. I remember thinking that dragons breathe fire, and fire is associated with smoke.
“Halfway through the project, I decided to make the wings a smokey gray, symbolizing what will happen to your lungs if you decide to use a vape. I used watercolor paints as my main medium, coming up with the colors as I went. I tried using darker, somewhat murky colors. I was trying to portray a somewhat grim mood. I was pleased with the result, as it turned out exactly how I wanted it to be. I was very surprised, as I did not expect to win. It was an amazing surprise,” Agee said.
“I am very proud of this great accomplishment, Martinsville Schools Superintendent Dr. Zeb Talley said. “Students at Martinsville City Public Schools continue to show their versatility and Fine Arts abilities. We want to always ensure that our students are well-rounded in all areas.”