Batesville Area Young Artists exhibit at Lyon College Kresge Gallery is May 18 to Aug. 4

By Colton Strader

BATESVILLE, Arkansas – Young artists from the Batesville area have a chance to showcase their talents in the upcoming Batesville Area Young Artists (BAYA) High School Juried Art Exhibition.

Students from eligible schools, including Cave City High School, Batesville High School, Southside High School and Cedar Ridge High School, who are expected to graduate in 2024 or 2025, were invited to submit up to three artworks in any 2D or 3D medium.

The BAYA event is the first community exhibition of its kind on campus, said Dustyn Bork, professor of art and BAYA organizer, who discussed the goals of the program.

“We see so many talented artists in the area, but they don’t necessarily know what steps to take next or how to showcase their art,” said Bork. “The Lyon College Art program wants to create a showcase, a possibility, that can encourage those young artists and give them an audience for their work.”

Bork emphasized that the event is designed to encourage supporting the arts and to give local young artists an opportunity to broaden their perspective and learn about what art can offer them.

“Maybe a student has taken an art class and they had the opportunity to use a few tools and learn some techniques, but maybe they’ve never been exposed to oil pastels or gouache,” said Bork. “Then they come on campus and see works done by their peers who are young artists just like them, and then they realize, ‘This is something I can do, too.’”

“Or maybe there’s an artist just drawing in their room and asking themselves, ‘Is this any good? Would anyone like this quirky drawing of my favorite band?’” said Bork. “This is their opportunity to test it out, to show off their art and start a discussion about what they make. It’s about having an audience for what you create.”

The exhibition also offers prizes for selected winners. The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of $300, while the second- and third-place winners will receive $200 and $100, respectively. Honorable mentions will receive $50 art gift cards. In addition to the cash prizes, the top five winners will receive Lyon College Art Scholarships of up to $500 per year.

“There’s an opportunity to get into the exhibition, which is a great recognition in itself, but then there are the awards with prize money associated with them which hopefully sparks the idea that, ‘Hey, I can get paid for my art,’” said Bork.

Bork emphasized that he hopes the event can highlight to local young artists the possibility of finding a future in art, “whether it’s just a hobby, a major you pursue, or a career, there are pathways.”

These submissions will be juried by Mountain Home artist and guest juror, Dusty Mitchell. The selected pieces will then be gathered and showcased in the Kresge Gallery, located in the Alphin Humanities Building on Lyon College’s campus.

“We specifically chose a professional that is not in the area to remain objective and unbiased,” said Bork. “After the selections have been made, it is possible for up to 30 pieces to be in the final show.”

The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday, May 19, to Friday, Aug. 4, providing ample time for art enthusiasts and visitors to witness the creative expressions of these young artists. The exhibit is a fantastic opportunity for these students to showcase their skills and gain recognition for their hard work.

There will be a reception on Thursday, June 8, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Kresge Gallery. Prizes will be awarded during the reception. The free event is open to the public.

“Even if you didn’t submit, come out to the gallery,” said Bork. “See what was selected, see what the community can create. Come support the arts and support the community that creates these wonderful pieces.”

Kresge Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Admission is free.

For more information about BAYA or the Lyon College Art program, please contact Dustyn Bork at