Student Art Contest

2023 Student Art Fairhope High School
Fairhope High School - First Place 2023

Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival Student Mural Contest has been part of the festival since 2007 and the enthusiasm for the contest has grown since its inception. Student artists from Eastern Shore middle and high schools participate in the mural contest by working with other students at their school to create an original work of art inspired by the Festival theme of the year. The 2024 theme is: Fairhope In Bloom Honoring Jimmy Buffett

The student murals are displayed at the Artist’s Dinner on Friday night where the festival vendors have the opportunity to vote for their favorite student murals. The names of the winning school murals are announced at the conclusion of the Artist’s Dinner. On Saturday morning the beautiful student murals are relocated to the front windows of various downtown merchants so they can be enjoyed by the thousands of festival attendees.

All participating schools receive a small monetary donation, and the three winning schools receive a larger monetary prize.

The award money is donated by Segers Aero Corp. and helps fund the schools' art programs. Keith Parden of Fairhope's Ace Jubilee Hardware store generously donates the materials for the mural boards. Fairhope Middle School art teacher Shawn Johnson offers his time to build the mural boards.

For one year following the festival, the student murals are beautifully displayed at "The Fairhope Chocolate Shop" located at for at 403 Fairhope Avenue. After the after the Arts and Crafts Festival concludes, the student artists and teachers are treated to an awards reception at The Fairhope Chocolate Shop.

For the past few years, Mayor Sherry Sullivan has selected several “The Mayor’s Favorite” murals and they are proudly displayed in her office at City Hall.

2024 Festival Locations

During the festival on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday March 17, the artwork can be seen in the windows of the following stores.

M&F Casuals (380 Fairhope Ave) - Fairhope High School and Fairhope Middle School

Fairhope Single Tax Corporation (336 Fairhope Ave) - Bayshore Christian School and St. Michael Catholic High School

Mobile Bay Realty (10 N Section St) - Daphne Middle School and Daphne High School

Fantasy Island Toys (335 Fairhope Ave) - Spanish Fort Middle School

Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce (327 Fairhope Ave) - Spanish Fort High School

Fairhope Pharmacy (398 Fairhope Ave) - Bayside Academy

2023 Student Art

Bayshore Christian Academy

Artists: Anne Adamson, Sydney Bynum, Abigail Doremus, Elizabeth Hope, AJ Macaro, Landry Roulston, AJ Macaro, and Meg Wheeler

The artists from Bayshore Christian School chose to paint a scene common to us Fairhopians, the sunset over the Mobile Bay. Seen through the graceful live oaks with the setting sun reflected on the water, this painting reminds us of the natural beauty of our town. Sidewalks welcome us all, young and old to stroll and behold each day’s ritual of when the sunlight fades away. Both neighbors and strangers gather, united by awe of the spectacle of nature. These spaces, open to us all, become places where friends are made, and the community is strengthened.

This dream of a utopia, held by the founders of Fairhope, continues to inspire us today. Our town ' s beautiful public spaces are a reality of this dream, when all citizens and visitors have the access to be refreshed through spending time in beauty and nature.

Bayside Academy - 2nd Place

"Golden Hour"

To represent this year's theme of Fairhope, Utopia on the Bay the Bayside Art Guild decided that a sunset would be fitting to showcase the beauty that the setting sun casts on our magic town. Instead of the sun, beams of gold radiate from the Fairhope clock bathing everything in shimmering light.

After blocking out the composition, acrylic paint was then used to render the scene. We employed elements of collage to add texture and dimension. For the final step, we dusted the board with paint crystals and applied gold foil to highlight the effect of the sun’s rays hitting the water. Our project is a love letter to the city of Fairhope and the resplendent that makes it our own little UTOPIA.

Daphne High School - 3rd Place

“Afternoon Glow"

Artists: Gabe Magee, Reese Dube, Allison Murphy, Anastasia Bennett, and Esmeralda Morataya

Teacher: Mrs. Pigage (advanced art classes)

There is nothing more iconic to this area than its simple scenery related to water. Rivers, lakes, the sea- but the crown jewel, we argue, is the bay itself. The gentle waters that take on hues of blue, brown, and green regardless of the color portraying a natural beauty unlike anything else. The waters, slightly out of focus yet just as vibrant and important as the blue heron and grasses, represent what initially and still connects us to the world. The same sky that looks ordinary and unremarkable in many places, taking on brilliant hues of blue, yellow, and red.

Casting a glow among what dwells here.The wildlife itself, abundant and everywhere - a major reason as to why we've decided to have a blue heron as the focal point. The bird itself represents self-determination and reliance, a tribute to the local industries and artisans that grow in numbers and importance by the day. The bull thistle in the grass amongst the reeds is a tribute to the connection we have with the state at large, despite our local area being somewhat unique amongst the landscapes of Alabama.

All these elements combined form this "utopia" on the bay, humans and nature prospering alongside one another in one of the best areas this world has to offer.

Daphne 9th Grade Academy

Essay and Painting created by: Molly Allen, Madeleine Barnes, and Kamryn Rowell

Art Teacher: Ms. Linda Hill

Our beautiful city is bursting with rich history and landscapes that are ever bountiful in beauty. In our painting, we have carefully curated a manicured landscape of some of the most beautiful aspects of our city.

There are the Live Oaks. Amongst the Live Oaks, we have captured the Whimsical Wisteria, and although invasive, one cannot help but stare in awe. Just below, there stands the goddess Daphne, who represents the beautiful freshwater streams and, of course, the bay.

Resting at the feet of our goddess lie the azaleas, adding an extra pop of color to trail the wisteria. They stare up at the goddess Daphne and symbolize beauty, which is quite fitting for our city. Accompanying the azaleas are our very own Dogwood Trail Maids, which have been a staple of our rich history for many generations. Their dress colors represent the colors each of our girls have chosen, reflecting the beauty of the place we call home, and what better way to honor it!

We have tall and sturdy pines, which we all see every day as they are completely swallowing up our city. Everywhere you turn, you see pines, which we believe symbolize immortality, strength, and life. This statement speaks for itself as our city is bursting with all kinds of life, and our community certainly is strong.

In front of our Pines is the Daphne Trojan, which is not only a symbol of our school pride, but of perseverance and the strength of a mighty warrior. Next to our Trojan fly the American Flags, which symbolize the love of our country and our freedom. In the background, we have a beautiful sunset that one might see on a dock on the Bay. Sunsets, we believe, are a symbol of Utopia.

Fairhope High School - 1st Place

Artists: Kate McWhorter, Sarah McWhorter, Joe Solomon, Darcy Doane, and Sara Claire Stejskal (Art 3 and 4 students)

A utopia is defined as a society with no flaws. Many people say that Fairhope is a utopia. Our own "little bubble". In this piece, title "Our Little Bubble", the layers of circular images emphasize the elements that make Fairhope a utopia. The flowers and clock, the shops and houses.... and at the center, the beautiful bay.

Fairhope Middle School - Honorable Mention

"Utopia on the Bay"

Artists: Taylor Jacobson, Lucy McIntosh, Lucy Russell, Caroline Miller

Teacher: Shawn Johnson

Peace and tranquility come to mind when one thinks of utopia. This scene depicted by the students portrays that very sense of peace and tranquility as experienced standing on the pier at the Grand Hotel watching the sun set and feeling the breeze blow in off the bay.

Spanish Fort High School - Honorable Mention

“Fairhope, Utopia on the Bay”

Student artists: Jay Wiggins, Syble Furr, Ari Salazar, Matthew Mastrone, Charlett Marcrum, Abby Lassister, Abbey Lowe, Le Marcus Maye, Holland Burkhalter, Maggie Henning, Mitch Pezent, Ryann Turner, and Emily Atwood.

Teacher: April Jones

The artwork titled “Fairhope, Utopia on the Bay” is a painting that combines vintage polaroid photographs and various symbols associated with the charming town of Fairhope, Alabama.

At the center of the artwork, there is a large polaroid photograph of downtown Fairhope, which captures the vibrant energy and community spirit of the town. The polaroid style lends an air of nostalgia to the piece, evoking memories of simpler times and a slower pace of life.

Surrounding the center photograph, there are other polaroid snaps that depict scenes from everyday life in Fairhope, such as people strolling along the pier or visiting the Mosher Castle.

In addition to the polaroids, the artwork also incorporates other symbols of Fairhope, including the iconic Dogwood Trail Court, Mardi Gras beads collected from the Knights of Ecor Rouge parade, and a lively crab to represent the Jubilee.

Together, these elements create a rich tapestry of images that celebrates the unique character and charm of Fairhope, capturing the essence of this beloved Southern town in a single work of art.

Spanish Fort Middle School

Artists: Isabella Wilkinson, Victorri Johnson, Isabelle Walker, and Madison Long (8th graders)

Teacher: Kristina D’Acquisto

The students envisioned their happy place on the bay as they brainstormed and sketched this beautiful scene that would draw in locals and tourists alike. Their take on Utopia is a very common scene we have the pleasure of seeing in our beautiful Mobile Bay area often. It brings to mind a warm summer evening overlooking the rippling water with fish splashing and crickets chirping, enjoying the fresh, salty air as the sun dances across the water and lights up the sky.

St. Michael Catholic High School

"You've Arrived"

Art Students

Teacher: Jessa Pippin

In our Mural we wanted to show the beauty of the bay in the mundane."You've Arrived" as Fairhope's slogan goes, shows that being here is enough to enjoy a utopia of sunsets, sunrises, and to relax along the waterside.