John Tyler Community College Foundation Announces its 2022 Art Award Winner

Student artist Emily Jalbert's oil painting Limelight Hydrangeas with Hyacinth Bean was named the winner.


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CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Emily Jalbert’s desire to create emerged at an early age. “I was always an art kid, making things constantly,” she said. “I used to imagine scenes from books or from life and make drawings.” She studied crafts and sculpture in college and earned a bachelor’s of fine arts and showed her work in Richmond and New York City before moving to Hanover County to raise a family. “I have continuously been making work, but it has been difficult to build a community with other artists and to get the critique and feedback I need to develop and grow,” she said. “Being immersed in art is the best way to continuously improve.” In early 2019, she signed up for a ceramic class at John Tyler Community College. As she worked in the ceramics area of the college’s art studio, she listened to art professor Colin Ferguson as he taught other students. “I was so impressed with his genuine and sincerely helpful comments to the students that I signed up for his class in fall 2019, and I have been a student ever since,” she said. “Since working with Colin my work has improved so much. I feel reinvigorated to explore the medium and experiment with new themes and techniques.”

In addition to enjoying her growth as an artist, Jalbert is now celebrating another achievement: being named the 2022 John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award winner for her oil painting, Limelight Hydrangeas with Hyacinth Bean. Jalbert’s award-winning artwork features a still life she set up from flowers she grew. She said it is the second in a series exploring the themes of growth, fragility and familiarity through light, color and texture. “I am honored to be chosen,” she said. “The works by the other finalists showed a diverse range of mediums and styles. It can be difficult to stand out with a somewhat traditional still life, so I’m happy the judges appreciated the piece.” As for the future, Jalbert said she is working on creating a body of work worthy of a solo show.

The John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award, which originated in 1995, showcases the artistic abilities of the college’s students. Finalists are 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 Jalbert (23192), the following students created artwork that were finalists for the 2022 John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award (zip codes follow each name): Maidina Alufujiang (23226), Sue Berinato (23060), Joshua A. Cloninger (23139), Kiera Fair (23224), Sophia Hutchence (23060), Darby Smith (23120), 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 the community.    

John Tyler Community College, which is becoming Brightpoint Community College on July 1, 2022, offers more than 75 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, online classes, and off-campus classrooms, served more than 12,790 students during the 2020-21 academic year. It also assisted approximately 5,700 learners, including more than 2,700 job seekers, through its workforce development division, Community College Workforce Alliance, a partnership between Tyler and Reynolds community colleges.